Take a look at most recent magazine covers and many of this year’s most captivating award show moments you’ll probably see one name consistently tacked to the credit line: Law Roach. The Hollywood Reporter released their Hollywood’s Most Powerful Stylists list and, of course, the 42-year-old self-proclaimed “Image Architect” leads the pack.
The celebrity stylist is frequently credited with Celine Dion’s triumphant fashion transformation and has worked with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry, including Ariana Grande, Zendaya, Tom Holland, Hunter Schafer, Anya Taylor-Joy, Brandy, and Tiffany Haddish. Roach utilises his access to the industry to incorporate more Black imagery and inclusion. “There has been whitewashing and washing out of certain people,” Roach said in an interview with THR. “Nobody asked us to do this, but [we’re] just taking it upon ourselves to make sure that we keep these icons alive and keep talking about them.”
Roach, whose career took off seven years ago, built a close relationship with Emmy award-winner, Zendaya. He recalls struggling to find designers who wanted to style her in her early Disney era. He then went on to credit how exclusive the styling industry is kept due to Hollywood industry staples keeping the same selection of creatives circulating.
“I’m the only [Black stylist] who has dressed and continues to dress A-list white talent, as well as my Black talent. That’s because there’s a system in Hollywood where new talent and those girls are funnelled through the same group of people,” he says. “Not a lot of Black stylists get the opportunity to get on the list because they don’t get the opportunity to work with the talent that’s going to the Oscars, the Globes. We just don’t get that opportunity.”
In 2018, at the Hollywood Reporter’s stylist roundtable, Roach said: “I built my career and Zendaya’s career on not using any big brands at all. I will tell you why, because in the beginning they wouldn’t touch her.”
He went on to say: “Zendaya made it to the cover of Vogue, she has never worn Valentino, she has never worn Gucci, she has never worn Chanel. She only wore Dolce when she got a Dolce campaign. I built that girl’s career and my career using smaller brands and emerging designers to prove a point.”
This past year Roach created the fLAWless fund in collaboration with Rebuild the Hood, a community revitalisation nonprofit. He raised over $100,000 this year for Black-owned businesses. He notes that he wants to be more involved in finding and cultivating young, new talent, especially talent of colour.
With New York City preparing for a full-reopening and there being a slow ease back to in-person shows, Roach believes the industry will see a rise in celebrity stylist needs. He’s already prepping for the Met Gala in September, too. Roach currently stars as a permanent judge on HBO Max’s Legendary alongside Megan Thee Stallion, Leiomy Maldonado, and Jameela Jamil. Roach’s success and notoriety allow him to be a needed representation for young Black creatives hoping to enter an industry that once felt intangible.