Law Roach Marks A Major Loss In The Fashion Industry

I distinctly remember the day that Law Roach came onto my radar — the 2019 Met Gala. The Met Gala is notoriously known for being a night filled with glitz and glamour, as magic ensues from the moment people arrive on the red carpet, and in 2019, it proved no different. Donned in 20 carbon fiber rods, 5 battery packs, and 40 meters worth of LED lights, Zendaya arrived at the star-studded event in a Cinderella-inspired Tommy Hilfiger ballgown, trailed by her fairy godmother for the night, stylist Law Roach. As the world watched her dramatic style transformation of artificial smoke and glowing garments, I knew from that moment that Law Roach was a force to be reckoned with.

But sadly, earlier last month, the fashion icon and powerhouse shocked the likes of everyone by announcing his retirement from the fashion industry. In a now-deleted Instagram post, Roach thanked his supporters while also expressing his desire to leave the industry, claiming that his “cup is empty” and that “the politics, the lies and [the] false narratives finally got me!” He then clarified the stipulations surrounding his retirement with Vogue hours later stating that “I’m not saying I’m retiring from fashion. I love fashion. I love the business and I love being creative. What I’m retiring from is the celebrity styling part of it: The being in service and at [the] service of other people. That’s what I’m retiring from, yeah.”

Photo by Tim P. Whitby from Getty Images

From that singular moment, his departure was felt around the world. In the last decade, Roach has worked tirelessly to cement his standing as one of Hollywood’s most powerful stylists. He has enlisted his skills to some of the biggest names in the world from Zendaya to Céline Dion. He has done everything from starring as a judge on America’s Next Top Model and HBO’s Legendary to assisting Zendaya with her infamous collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger. He has even modeled on the runway himself, having walked most recently in the Hugo Boss Fall/ Winter 2023 show. Law Roach eats, lives, and breathes fashion and it’s evident not only in his work ethic but in his passion for his craft as well.

After news broke of his retirement, rumors circulated as to what resulted in his leaving. Was it the absence of a seat on the front lines at the Louis Vuitton show? Was it a troublesome client at this year’s Oscars? Ultimately, Roach says a lot of it had to do with being unable to properly grieve his 3-year-old nephew’s untimely passing two years ago. Roach confessed that due to his busy schedule, he was only allowed a small amount of time throughout the year to visit him.

He told ABC News that in this new chapter in his life, “I just wanna breathe. I wanna fly. I wanna be happy. I wanna figure other things out.”

There is some light at the end of the tunnel though! Although Roach is leaving the celebrity styling world, it doesn’t mean he’s disappearing from the industry completely. With both a book and a creative collaboration with an Italian shoe brand in the works, we haven’t seen the last of him, and hopefully never will. One thing we, unfortunately, won’t be seeing his work is at fashion’s biggest night — the Met Gala in May.

Photo by Momodu Mansaray from Getty Images

In an interview with The Cut, he went as far as to say, “No Met Gala…Canceled.”

In this new, undoubtedly scary, direction in his life, Roach has decided to put his own interests first. Like always, he’s breaking industrial and societal norms, and putting his creative decisions to the test.

And yet, it’s still hard not to feel his loss in the fashion world. While most creatives at this point in their career would’ve been experiencing a downturn in their success, Law Roach has remained on top. The self-proclaimed “Image Architect” has utilized innovative ways of thinking to create particularly unique moments for his clients and onlooking fashion enthusiasts. For so many, they can see themselves in Law: a black boy from the South Side of Chicago with a dream to make a name in fashion.

Law Roach does so much more than simply work in the fashion industry. He inspires us all.