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Law Roach's Shock Retirement is a Reflection on Fashion Industry’s Issues with Exclusivity

by Josie Sharp


Famed stylist Law Roach announced last week that he was retiring via a since-deleted Instagram post that blamed “The politics, the lies and false narratives” of the fashion industry for his decision. The 44-year-old is known for being the ‘image architect’ of stars including Zendaya and Anya Taylor-Joy.

 Image: Luke Leitch

Under the Instagram post that featured simply a red sign with 'RETIRED' written in large white letters, both fans and celebrities commented their adoration and sadness at his retirement. Roach was even called “an inspiration” by international supermodel Naomi Campbell who said that she wouldn’t allow him to retire.

 

At Paris Fashion Week, Zendaya and her stylist were rushed to the FROW of the Louis Vuitton show because they were running late, only for them to see there was no seat for him - at least not next to Zendaya. Roach explained to Lindsay Peoples on a podcast with ‘The Cut’ that he was used to his seat always being “next to her” so it was shocking that LVMH decided not to provide him with a seat.

 

The luxury fashion house LVMH’s subsidiaries include Louis Vuitton and Dior. We can first see the potential rift between them and Roach when Anya Taylor-Joy became Dior’s newest ambassador in 2021. The stylist had previously been employed by Anya, but after Dior approached her to promote their brand they stopped working together. It is believed that the Dior head-hunters did not approve of Law Roach and wanted her to have a new stylist.

Image: Luke Leitch

There are further rumours of LVMH mistreating Roach, being the favoured argument as to what led him to decide to retire from styling. It came as a shock to the public who have loved his use of vintage couture on Zendaya, which also created a trend amongst celebrity A-listers.


However, much to many people’s relief, Law has since tweeted, “So y'all really think I'm breaking up with Z.... we are forever!”

Image: DIMITRIOS KAMBOURIS | GETTY IMAGES

This was followed minutes later with, “She's my little sister and it's real love not the fake industry love.”


With the Vanity Fair Oscar party following his announcement, his styling of attendees were labelled by him as his, “FINAL FIVE”.


Made up of Kerry Washington, Hunter Schafer, Hailee Steinfeld, Megan thee Stallion and Eve Jobs, Roach stated, “I'm proud of the last works of art that I was able to create with these magical woman”.

Image: GETTY IMAGES

With his latest announcement being a collaboration with Valentino and rumours of another big announcement both being paired with the retirement post now being deleted, there have been many questions asked about whether this was a PR stunt. However, if so, it clearly worked! Good marketing comes in many shapes, and being clever with social media can be key. 

You can now see his store window using the #Unboxing Valentino collection and the accompanying classic car wrapped in Valentino Toile Iconographe at the brand’s Soho boutique in New York.

 

It’s a disappointing reflection on the fashion industry that the politics of fashion has gone so far as to ruin the enjoyment of the sought-after stylist’s craft. When fashion is no longer fun, is there much point? 


Fashion is a form of self-expression, and its current lack of inclusivity should not be tolerated. 


edited by Emily Duff

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