Law Roach stunned the fashion industry the other day when he announced on Instagram that he’d be retiring, resulting in wild speculation about why he was leaving at the top of his game, especially since he mentioned “politics, the lies, and false narratives” that “finally got me”. We’ll come back to that gossip in a minute because there is still a lot of mystery about his decision where that’s concerned. But we do know what he’ll be doing moving forward. Which is modelling. 


Law walked the runway, wearing the clothes instead of choosing the clothes, yesterday at the BOSS show in Miami. 

He also talked to Vogue about his career pivot. 


He wasn’t specific though about his reasons, saying only that he is indeed retiring from celebrity styling and that he’s been feeling burned out: 

“I’m not saying I’m retiring from fashion. I love fashion. I love the businesses, and I love being creative. What I’m retiring from is the celebrity styling part of it: the being in service and at service of other people. That’s what I’m retiring from, yeah.”

And instead of looking backwards, he’s looking ahead. As he said, he’s not leaving fashion, he’s just doing it a different way: 

“And when I made that decision yesterday, I stepped back and looked at my life and realized I don’t have anything but that career. I don’t want that to be the legacy… So to answer your question, what I plan on doing is other things. Like what I’m doing today with Boss. I also plan on teaching: I want to be more involved with people who look like me who want to figure out how to have the opportunity to do things that I’ve done, right?... I want that to be my legacy, a legacy that I really helped change people’s lives—and not just the celebrities’ by putting them in the best dress, you know?”

But that’s interesting in and of itself because Law, by his own description, was never a “stylist”. He’s an “image architect”, which is a term he’s actually trademarked– he owns it! And he should, because that is indeed what he has done, what he’s been doing. Law Roach didn’t just pull clothes for Zendaya, and I’m focusing on Zendaya here because that’s the partnership that really established his reputation. It was never just about what she was wearing. Their goal, from the beginning, and they have said as much, was to build a career from those clothes. The architecture of her career was founded on her red carpet wardrobe. They constructed, through the clothes, through the fashion, an image. That image opened up opportunities, so many opportunities. 


So he was right to self-designate his job description as “image architect”. That’s exactly what his job is. Or was. When he says he’s quitting the business of styling celebrities, then, it doesn’t necessarily mean he’s quitting the business of image architecture, does it? He promises that he’ll be teaching, training future image architects, which totally makes sense. Because when you literally pioneer a profession, of course  you’d want the profession to exist beyond your time. 

But …to go back to the gossip…why now? What of the “politics and the lies”? And what about all the rumours? 

As soon as Law made his retirement announcement on Tuesday, a lot of people zoomed in on Zendaya and her new partnership with Louis Vuitton. Specifically the video of Z and Law arriving at the LV show a couple of weeks ago and it looked like Law didn’t have a seat, and whether or not Z’s deal with LV forced Law out of the picture. But others have pointed out that Z and Law got there almost 45 minutes late, it was already kind of a clusterf-ck with the schedule and it would have delayed the show even more if there was a seat shuffle. He did end up sitting front row, just in a different section. So I’m not sure if that’s the smoking gun. 

And yet, I get why people are suspicious because of what happened with Anya Taylor Joy. If you recall, working with Law made ATJ a fashion superstar. Just as it was with Zendaya and Celine Dion and others before her, Law changed the game for her – and her deal with Dior was a direct result. Let’s give credit where credit is due, even though the credit seemed to be an issue. 


Shortly after signing with Dior, Anya and Law’s collaborations came to an end. (And, frankly, she hasn’t really popped on the red carpet ever since.) Dior and Louis Vuitton are both LVMH brands. Coincidence or conspiracy? 

You’ll note, there didn’t seem to be a problem when Zendaya was with Valentino. That was a successful ambassadorship because Valentino appeared to appreciate Law’s involvement and contributions. Remember, Law isn’t just a stylist. He shapes an entire vision around the clothes and has a hand in the presentation, in how the overall creative direction is presented. So he’s not just handling the clothes on his muse, he’s laying out the entire canvas, on which the clothes are just one element. And I wonder whether that was an issue for the in-house creatives who were getting bested at their own jobs by someone who thought differently, who brought in a different perspective, and who, as he has said before, did not follow the traditional institutional career path of the established fashion industry. 

I’m not saying that this is exactly what went down, and Law clearly is in no mood to clarify it, but questions do remain about why he’s evolving his career at this moment in time in particular. 


It’s worth nothing, however, that no matter who or what Law might have beef with, he and Zendaya are unchanged. Because that was the worry – that she made off like Anya Taylor-Joy, after all their years together, and all that they’ve been able to achieve together. Law does not want those assumptions to persist. So last night he made a definitive statement about the status of their relationship. 

That’s the thing most of us care about, isn’t it? Like, as long as he and Z are good, we’re good. They’ll keep serving, we’ll stay well fed. 

And speaking of Zendaya – she was just papped in London with Tom Holland, so they’re still good too. More than good. Looks like she’s been staying with him and his family, staying out of the spotlight for the better part of three months or more now, out of the spotlight and away from the drama.