The One Zendaya Look Law Roach Says He Would Change

The One Zendaya Look Law Roach Says He Would Change

A collage of Law Roach and Zendaya at past Met Galas.Image: Getty. Design: Sasha Purdy / StyleCaster.

Law Roach has long been one of Hollywood’s biggest stylists, but he just became the Simon Cowell of OMG Fashun. After styling celebrities like Zendaya, Anya Taylor-Joy, and Céline Dion, Roach has undoubtedly made a name for himself in the fashion world. And while Law Roach and Zendaya have become a collective force to be reckoned with, Roach still recalls past moments of his career where he wishes he stood up for himself. Now, a year after announcing his retirement to the world, Law Roach is starting a brand new era that’s not controlled by his fear of saying no. 

Today, we recognize Law Roach and Zendaya as fashion’s most powerful duo—but their partnership actually began during Zendaya’s Disney Channel days. Now almost 13 years after they first worked together, Roach says their lived experiences have shaped the way they work together. Like any good stylist, Roach has been there for every pivotal moment of Zendaya’s career, including her first Met Gala in 2015. After so many milestones together, Law Roach has remained on-call for Zendaya—even during his retirement period.

More recently, Law Roach has also established a Simon Cowell and Paula Abdul dynamic with Julia Fox. The two are judges on the brand new fashion competition show OMG Fashun. It’s safe to say TV has never seen a show this camp, and Roach is excited to pick the brains of up-and-coming fashion designers as they upcycle looks. At times, the show is as silly as some of Julia Fox’s outfits, but the challenges emphasize the importance of sustainability—a huge part of Roach’s ethos as a stylist. After spearheading the archival red carpet craze, Roach knows better than anyone that the best looks are the ones someone else has already worn.

What was your inspiration for both of Zendaya’s Met Gala looks this year?

We were just inspired by the art and the previous work of John Galliano and what he’s done for fashion. You know, I think he’s one of the greatest fashion designers—if not the greatest—of our time, our generation.

Zendaya’s looks this year were archival. Is there anything in particular that you look for when considering vintage or archival pieces?

Just things that make me feel something. Or things that I recognize, from shows that I remember. It always makes it fun when there’s a reference photo, or a video of the model on the runway. That’s always great.

How did you go about styling Zendaya for the Challengers press tour?

I think it was supposed to be literal. I think the love story about the movie was really a love story of tennis. It was two boys and a girl, and it seemed like it was a love story about them. But really, the love story was about tennis. So that’s what I wanted to show in the wardrobe. And sometimes we don’t care if people think it’s costumey or too literal. I think it’s fun to play like that and to play in that world.

You’ve been styling Zendaya since she was on Disney Channel. How have you evolved as a duo since then?

I think it’s just growing up. You know, you grow up and styles change, the more you get to travel. It just changes your perspective on the world. And when that changes, your perspective of self changes, and you don’t want to wear the same thing as a 26-year-old woman as you did as a little girl. I think we all go through those transformations. It’s just that we’ve grown up. We have been exposed to so many things and the internet has made the world smaller. So you get to see things in other countries and other designers that you would have never got to see before. So it’s just all those things. Social media has really helped a lot in a way.

Is there anything about social media that makes your job more difficult?

I’m just addicted to it. I want to constantly consume information. Yeah, and inspiration or references.

Are there any looks you’ve done in the past that you look back on and think, “I wish I did that differently?”

Well, I think Zendaya’s first Met Gala. There was a pair of shoes that I really wanted her to wear. I was working with a designer—everything was nice, the collaboration. But he just thought it should be another shoe. And today, I just wish that we went with the shoe that I thought was the better look. Of course, the look was great. But it just taught me to really stand up for myself and if I think something is right to fight for it, but at the time we were so grateful to just be invited. It was my first time styling her for the Met and her first time going, so I kind of just let it be and let him win that one. If I could go back right now, I would fight for the shoe.

Zendaya at the 2015 Met Gala. Photo by Jamie McCarthy/FilmMagic.

Which shoe did you want?

It was a Charlotte Olympia shoe that was red with a black platform. It just looked exactly like the dress, and it would have been so good.

You’ve said that you’re not necessarily retiring but just doing things on your own terms now. Has it been difficult to set those boundaries for yourself?

No, not at all. It’s been so freeing. I did retire, I did go away, and I didn’t work for a few months. But then I decided to come back, well, for Zendaya obviously. But now if I want to do something, I do it. If I don’t want to do it I don’t do it. It’s just so powerful to live your life like that—being able to be free to do what you want to do and not be controlled by your fear of saying no.

Your new show OMG Fashun just premiered—how excited are you for people to finally watch it?

I think it’s gonna be fun. I think people are gonna really enjoy it—it’s campy and silly and over the top. I mean, Julia is all of those things. And I think watching her and what she wears could be a show on its own. And the task of all the designers is to create something for her to wear. And so, it’s she and I and a guest judge every episode. It’s just really fun. That’s the best way I could put it. Just really, really fun.

Julia Fox said that you love to read people to filth, but she’s nervous to do so. As the show goes on, do you think you’ll help her come out of her shell?

No, I think she’s Paula Abdul and I’m Simon Cowell. I think you need that. You need a good balance.

Julia wears a lot of crazy outfits. Like her naked bikini with the prosthetic vagina and nipples. Is that something you would dress someone in? What do you think of her looks?

If I was styling Julia, I would. I think it’s based on her personality and what she believes in. Her body is her body, and she can put on whatever she wants, and she could take off whatever she wants. And I commend her for being brave and being able to take any critique and just not care.

On OMG Fashun, you work with a lot of up-and-coming designers. What advice do you have for people who want to be fashion designers?

Just really, really believe in yourself. But also know the business and the inside and out of the business. And be patient. I think I think we live in a climate that everybody wants to have a celebrity wear their clothes, and it’s on Instagram, and now you’re successful—but that’s the last part of it. Just learn everything about the business, including the business.

Is there anything in particular that you want to see from the designers on OMG Fashun?

I want to see things that make me feel something. But I also want to see things that are repurposed and upcycled, in a way that looks like it was made to be the material. And I think that’s a huge challenge—using things that are unconventional and unorthodox and making something beautiful. I just want to feel something. I want to feel joy when I see the clothes.

Sustainability is a big part of the show. Is that something you’re thinking about in your work?

Yeah, I always have. I was kind of one of the leaders of bringing archival and vintage to the red carpet. And you know, I think that caught on and now everybody wants to go thrifting and wear vintage clothes. It’s always been part of who I am because I think the easiest way to become sustainable is to wear something that someone else has already worn.


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