Stylist Spotlight: Law Roach

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What does selling vintage clothes out the trunk of a car have to do with styling A-list celebrities for the red carpet? Everything would be the answer; or at least that’s the answer that “image architect”, Law Roach, would give.  His clientele includes Mary J. Blige, Ariana Grande, Tom Holland, Ruby Rose, Tiffany Haddish, Demi Lovato, Mariah Carey, and most recently, Anne Hathaway; just to name a few, which he’s styled for countless red carpet events. 

 

As a vintage apparel broker from the southside of Chicago, Law Roach started his career thrifting, which is a well-founded hobby he gained from his grandmother.  What started off as just personal shopping, turned into the start of a collection of the most sought after vintage clothes for men and women. It wasn’t until a friend of Roach took interest in a curated vintage dress in the trunk of his car and asked to purchase it, that Roach took his first of many steps into the fashion world.  What started off as putting on “trunk shows” to sell his curated vintage collection, quickly turned into Roach opening a clothing store called Deliciously Vintage in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood. His store featured vintage clothing as they related to the current trends in fashion, on and off the runway.  In selling some of the most in demand vintage pieces, Roach gained enough exposure and influence that his store caught the attention of Kanye West.  It was reported that West dropped over $5000 on dresses and accessories in Deliciously Vintage for a “special lady friend.”  Soon after, Roach was getting calls from stylists across the country, inquiring about his vintage pieces for their clients; which sparked Roach’s interest in styling.  However, even Kanye West couldn’t take the top spot as Roach’s most important client. 

American actress and singer, Zendaya, was looking for an outfit for Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never” premiere, and one of Roach’s store customers who is a friend of Zendaya’s father, referred Zendaya to Law Roach.  Zendaya showed up to the premiere styled by Law, and became the topic of discussion amongst difficult photographers.  This connection sparked the present-day, eight year friendship and business relationship as Roach took a genuine interest in Zendaya, calling her his “fashion soulmate.”  With a solid client, Roach closed Deliciously Vintage in Chicago and recently franchised Deliciously Vintage in Harlem, then moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as a full time stylist.

Roach has been vocal about the resistance he’s received from different designer brands.  Initially, Zendaya was declined showroom looks because brands thought her to be green and inexperienced against other celebrities, but Roach proved to be tenacious in fighting for his client’s relevancy, as well as his own, in the fashion world.  Being green with limited experience, having no agency to back him, and having done no internships, Roach had little to stand on when requesting different looks for Zendaya.  He worked with Zendaya for about a year, before designers gave the stylist and his star a fair shot.  One day, Roach was in Alta Moda’s showroom when he spotted a dress that he knew was perfect for the rising star.  When he inquired about the garment to one of the showroom workers, she said that look had already been selected for a celebrity.  She also stated that she thought that Zendaya wouldn’t fit the look quite well.  Roach stressed the coverage the dress would get with Zendaya on the carpet and emphasized how much of a seasoned star she was.  After much persistence, the worker yielded the dress to Roach, and Zendaya landed herself on the Best Dressed of the Night lists under multiple media outlets including “Fashion Police” under host, Joan Rivers before her late departure.  That appearance along with the many that followed, labeled Roach as an up and coming celebrity stylist for rising stars, which made room for additional clients such as Tiffany Haddish, Ruby Rose, Naomie Harris, and Jessie J; the chief among them being Canadian singer, Celine Dion. 

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Roach credits Zendaya for his connection with Celine Dion who mentions that his work with Zendaya primarily caused her to reach out to Roach.  Dion fell in love with his work after Roach styled her in Vetements' exclusive “Titanic” hoodie, and the rest is history. 

 

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With a much broader clientele, brands made themselves more accessible and easier to work with when it came to discussing looks with Roach.  The more credible he became, the more justified he was in securing a spot on the judging panel of VH1’s revamp of America’s Next Top Model.  A wider outlook on the fashion world resulted in Law altering his title from stylist to “image architect.”  The newly self-described “image architect” defines his title in his approach to styling a client.  Like an architect’s inspection of the land he is going to build upon, Roach surveys his client’s clothing history.  He establishes what works, what didn’t work, what could work, and what is definite.  From there, he builds the client’s wardrobe piece by piece; he constructs a fashion blueprint for the client based on what they like to wear, what looks great, and what they’re afraid to wear.  In an interview with VH1, Roach mentions, “Instead of building houses, I’m building images.” Moreover, Roach trademarked the phrase “image architect” as a way to separate himself from the traditional idea of what a stylist is, and to separate himself from the ever growing list of working stylists.

After being selected as the first African American to be featured on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter’s 25 Most Powerful Stylist issue, what the future holds for Law Roach is unclear.  He has expressed interest in starting a fashion line, but with his roster expanding and his work as creative director of the Daya by Zendaya brand, he doesn’t project this happening in the short term.  Check out more of Law Roach’s work on his IG: @luxuryLAW.