Zendaya, Celine Dion, Anne Hathaway, Priyanka Chopra, Ariana Grande, Kerry Washington, Hunter Schafer, and Megan Thee Stallion. These are just a few of the Hollywood superstars who have been dressed to the nines by famed celebrity stylist Lawrence "Law" Roach.
Now, these stars need to find someone else to help them land on best–dressed lists, as Roach recently announced his retirement from celebrity styling.
Over the past decade, Roach has skyrocketed to being one the biggest names in his field. Aside from his high–profile clients, Roach is a celebrity in his own right, with 1.3 million followers on Instagram and his own established brand in Hollywood as a fashion authority.
Roach gained notoriety for his work with Celine Dion—specifically for Dion's look during the 2016 Paris Couture Week; he dressed her in a Vetements Titanic sweatshirt, and it was hailed as an inspired look. Practically overnight, Roach transformed Dion. Then, in 2014, when he first started working with Zendaya, he put her in looks that other celebrities had worn in an effort to get her name on “Who Wore it Best” lists and into high–profile fashion conversations. In Roach’s own words, he’s an “image architect” more than a stylist, which is seen in the careful consideration he gives to his clients’ looks.
Law skyrocketed to fame and secured an A–List clientele, styling not only Zendaya and Dion but also Kerry Washington, Ariana Grande, and Anne Hathaway, among others. He consistently landed on The Hollywood Reporter’s “Most Powerful Stylists” lists (he was named Stylist of the Year in 2022), and his clients’ looks became Hollywood’s most anticipated. He had not only infiltrated the elite upper echelon of Hollywood fashion, but was at the center of it.
But now he has decided to leave the circle—with reason.
Following the 2023 Academy Awards, Roach released a statement announcing his retirement, proclaiming that “[i]f this business was just about the clothes I would do it for the rest of my life but unfortunately it’s not! The politics, the lies and false narratives finally got me! You win…I’m out." The news came as a shock, especially given that Roach dressed many clients for the Oscars ceremony and the Vanity Fair afterparty. Immediately, speculation erupted regarding why Roach would abruptly exit the business.
Following Roach’s retirement announcement, a video circulated online of Roach and Zendaya walking into a Louis Vuitton fashion show. In the video, Zendaya takes her front row seat, leaving Roach standing and unseated. Zendaya then points to a seat in the second row, sparking rumors that she trying to direct Roach to an open spot in the row behind her. Roach later dismissed this chatter.
The video caused quite a stir, with many rushing to overanalyze the video and claim that Roach was enraged by his lack of a front–row seat or that the show propelled him to cut off ties with Zendaya and leave the celebrity styling industry.
Following his retirement announcement, Roach gave an interview to The Cut to parse through all the online noise. Speaking in the interview, Roach denied rumors that he and Zendaya had a rift or that the Louis Vuitton show was any sort of catalyst for his retirement.
Roach revealed that the Hollywood political system prevents him from forming strong and trusting relationships with his clients. Speaking on the issue, Roach admitted that “[y]ou have the person that’s in between you and the client, and all the scheduling, and you have to talk to this person to talk to this person. And I think what happens is a lot of times, they become intimidated by the relationships I’m able to have with the clients personally.”
Roach draws a correlation between this intimidation inspired by Roach’s personal connections to his clients and the phenomenon of him “just [not hearing] from a client anymore. Or I’m booked for jobs and then, all of a sudden, I’m released.” Roach’s clear implication is that the people surrounding his clients have tarnished these personal relationships, and in turn, made his work disingenuous and unfulfilling.
Stylists like Roach have changed red carpet conversations from simply “Who are you wearing?” to “Who are you wearing, and who put you in that outfit?” Roach’s brand is nearly as distinctive as those of the celebrities he dresses, which is why his retirement sent shock waves through the industry—and highlighted the conversation around the relationships between celebrities and the people around them.
For Roach, having people block his access to his clients ultimately drove him away from the industry. If someone like Roach can’t connect with his client, how can he create their image? His approach is not just about the clothes; he considers the person on a deep, personal level, which requires building close connections with often inaccessible, impenetrable celebrities.
Roach also knows his worth as a stylist, and if he is somewhere where he is being disrespected, or more offensively to him, being distrusted by a celebrity or their team, he'll extricate himself from the situation. Fashion is about personal expression, not about politics. Law Roach knows this, values this, and refuses to let Hollywood’s politics break down his creativity or his dignity.