If you’ve paying attention to fashion at all in the last few years, then you’ll probably know the name Law Roach. Stylist to Ariana Grande, Celine Dion, Zendaya, and may other A-listers, Roach is a star in his own right. But despite all the fame he’s attained, Roach didn’t realize he’d really made it until May this year, when he dressed Dion for the Billboard Music Awards.
“That was the moment that I kind of just stepped back and was like, ‘Wow, look at what I’ve built. Look at this career, look at these clients, look at the people I’m dressing, look at all these major moments I’ve had,’” he told HelloGiggles in a recent interview. “It took all the way up until then, which really just happened recently, for me to just step away from it all.”
Of course, Roach had put together dozens of our favorite outfits before then—this fearless Fendi look on Dion, for instance, and this Cleopatra-inspired gown on Zendaya—and he’s since dressed countless women we love. He says his biggest inspiration is women, and the feeling is certainly mutual.
“[I’m] really inspired by women—all shapes, sizes, ages,” he explained. “Watching the process of women getting their hair and makeup done, it all just excites me. I feel like a little boy watching my mom and my grandma get ready for church. It’s this thing women possess—I feel like anytime you celebrate women, it just makes the world a better place.”
We had a chance to speak to the star stylist at a recent event in Hong Kong celebrating Grande’s new partnership with Reebok, and he opened up to HG about how he got his start in the biz, his favorite look from Grande’s Dangerous Woman tour, and what it was like to work with Dion soon after the death of her husband, René Angelil, in January 2016.
HelloGiggles: How did you get into styling?
Law Roach: Well, I love to say I was born a stylist and my first client was Barbie. I also have an obsession with vintage, so [a few years ago] I opened, with my best friend, a little small vintage store in Chicago, and we started saying we were the stylists for the store. And actually we were, and that led to me getting notoriety in that world and meeting a lot of stylists. I was like, hey, you know, people are really making a living at this and I think I should do it—I can do it. So I just kind of ventured off, and I had never had any formal training—I was never anyone’s assistant or intern. I just kind of jumped into it and [went through] trial and error, just figured stuff out and made the best of it.
I was also a bartender, but I’ve really been doing it professionally without doing anything else to sustain myself for the last four years. I had the boutique seven years ago, and I closed it when I decided I wanted to be a stylist and I moved to L.A.
HG: Was there a moment when you realized, ‘Wow, this is really happening for me’?
LR: Honestly, I have been working so hard that I never really had that moment until Céline Dion at the Billboard Awards.
When you’re working hard and you’re trying to build [your career], you’re so in it that you don’t really get time to celebrate what you’ve done. So that was my moment when I was like, ‘Oh, I’m really a stylist, and I think I’m kind of good!’
HG: I’m totally spellbound by what you’ve done for Céline. I wanted to ask, what has it been like to bring out her personality through fashion following the death of her husband?
LR: I think I came on maybe four months after [her husband died]. So it was still new, and it was still fresh. She’ll grieve her husband for the rest of her life, I’m sure, but that was in the thick of it.
For me, the accolades and the interviews and all that are great, but she said in an interview that working with me helped her through that process, and I think that anytime you can have a positive effect on another human being from your work, it’s the most rewarding, gratifying thing ever. So that’s something I’ll be proud of for the rest of my life, beyond the looks and all the other stuff. It’s just those words from this woman that we all grew up listening to, this iconic woman—Céline, I think, is one of the last icons that we have.
HG: What is a favorite look you’ve put together for Ariana?
LR: I’m very, very proud of what we created for this [Dangerous Woman] tour. From start to finish, I think all the looks are so Ariana, but they’re the more adult version of Ariana. If you compare to her last tour, it’s still the same silhouettes but done in a more sophisticated way. [For] the last look, the finale look—for “Dangerous Woman”—we created this ball gown-inspired trench coat in a vinyl patent leather. It’s stunning. It’s the hero look of the entire show.
HG: What styling advice would you give to a fan of Ariana’s who loves her look and wants to emulate it?
LR: The thing that makes Ariana so powerful and makes her such a great inspiration to people is that she’s authentic, so I would say to a fan to find your own way of doing it. Don’t copy it verbatim; take away the things that you really, really love, and incorporate that into what you already do. I think, by doing that, then you will inspire other people.
HG: Do you ever get into a style rut, and how do you get out of it?
LR: I do, I think we all do. I think we all look into our closet and think, ‘Oh, I’m just so sick of it.’ But I think the important thing is to just step away for a minute and watch some old movies or listen to music that inspires you, or if you’re a magazine person or if you’re a Tumblr person or Pinterest, go to all those things and give yourself a little time to heal. All creatives have some type of block, and I think that fashion is the most interactive art form, so when you dress yourself you’re actually an artist. So just step away for a minute and give yourself time to breathe, and find a new way to look at old things.
HG: Do you have a favorite look you’ve done for Céline?
LR: The Billboard Awards. She did “My Heart Will Go On”—it was the 20th anniversary of Titanic—and it was the white dress with the big [shoulders].
This is going to sound crazy, but I literally fangirl over my own work. So if I’m in an Uber in L.A.—because I don’t drive—and I need to feel a certain type of way, I will literally YouTube that performance and watch it as if I didn’t do it and I’ll [think], ‘She’s so amazing, she looks so amazing.’ So that’s my favorite.
HG: We’ve talked so much about your clients, is there anything you want to share about yourself?
LR: No, I’m quiet! I’m just really happy that people like what I do and they’re entertained by it and some people are emotional about it. It’s beautiful, and I’m so happy that I’ve been put in a position where I can inspire people through my work.