Law Roach’s Next Chapter Is All About Joy

Fresh off his retirement from styling, Roach opens up about the future.

Law Roach Post-Retirement

Getty Images/ Amanda Lauro

Law Roach’s sudden retirement shook the fashion industry, but then again Roach has always shaken things up. His style, story, and career are all larger than life: He journeyed from the South Side of Chicago to the front row of Fashion Week, and built a star-studded roster of clients, including Zendaya, Celine Dion, and Megan Thee Stallion to become the most powerful stylist in fashion. When he speaks to InStyle about his next post-retirement project, a partnership with T.J. Maxx, he talks about fashion like it’s the love of his life — even if the industry sometimes didn’t show him that same love back.

“If it's something that you love and it makes you feel good, then who gives a fuck? I think saying ‘I don't give a fuck’ is so powerful,” Roach tells InStyle of his continued love for fashion. “It takes back the power from anyone else that you had released it to. It motivates you. It lets you live in your joy.” 

Celebs have always loved working with him, but Roach couldn’t escape the rumors; rumblings that he’s difficult or prone to diva-like behavior. It’s coded language that people of color can recognize right away, but that doesn’t mean it hasn’t taken a toll or made him uncertain about the next steps.

“I'm human,” Roach admits. (Although if you were only looking at the mirror shine of his silk press, it would be easy to assume otherwise.) “I have those moments where [I wonder], if I'm not doing this job, will people care about me anymore? Will people want to work with me? We have those days of doubts, but you have to know the things that are for you are for you. It's OK to take a risk. It's OK to try something different. It's OK to have a new beginning.”

Law Roach and Zendaya standing together

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For Roach, his new beginning includes a partnership with T.J.Maxx. Last week, Roach curated a fashion presentation featuring designer merchandise from The Runway at T.J. Maxx. This work with the famed off-price department store is one way Roach will be paying the joy of fashion forward. No stranger to roaming discount racks himself — he describes the process as “a treasure hunt” — the superstar stylist is excited to share the power of great style with people who might otherwise find it out of reach. 

“I was living [in NYC] and working on my master's degree. My best friend and I went in and found these two designer sweaters — Italian — at an amazing price,” he recalls of one of his most memorable trips to T.J. Maxx. “We wore them out of the store, wore them to a party, I wore mine to the threads, but that one piece meant you were an insider, not an outsider. As a struggling student, it was a splurge, but I was still able to make my rent. Those types of experiences are really important.” 

Roach’s smile as he tells the story speaks volumes about how he feels about fashion. “Using clothes and fashion, we can be whoever we want,” he says, adding that clothes act as a way to make us feel safe and secure. “Every superhero has a costume. I think learning how to harness and use the power of fashion and clothes is really a beautiful thing.”

Law Roach with the TJ Maxx runway collection.

TJ Maxx

Even so, Roach knows that feeling confident in a killer outfit doesn’t come naturally for everyone. It’s a process and one that’s just as much about how you feel about yourself as the clothes you buy. “Find out who you are on the inside, and then use the clothes to tell the story,” he advises. “Use fashion as the words in your narrative. It all comes from inside, from confidence. The most beautiful thing that any of us can put on is confidence. When a woman walks into a room, no matter her size, her ethnicity, or hair color — when a confident woman walks in the room, the room will take notice. Work on the inside, and the outside will fall into place.”

Right now, Roach is working on the inside himself. After spending years building his career at a breakneck pace, he’s ready to take some time to breathe. When asked what’s next, he shares, “I think I want to teach and continue to share my story.” 

For Roach, that means many things, from working on a book to curating the T.J. Maxx presentation. It may seem less glamorous than celebrity styling, but Roach is looking forward to just that. “I want to do things where I feel tangible,” he explains pensively, adding, “where I don't feel like I'm on this pedestal, this thing that works with the biggest stars in the world. I want to give. I've been of service to so many people for so long, and I want to be of service, but in a different type of way.”

Law Roach and Megan Thee Stallion

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Still, he’s admittedly figuring it all out. “I just want to experiment,” he says while describing his evolving aesthetic — but it’s not a reach to hear a duality in his words. Yes, his ‘fits, but also, his next chapter. “I want to be out, and I want to have fun,” he says. “I want to try things. I want to succeed. I don't want to fail, and I want to look a mess. I've been so busy for so long that I just fell into this uniform. Now, I just want to take bigger risks.” 

Even in his retirement, we expect Roach will stay booked and busy in whatever capacity moves him towards his joy. That said, an immaculately messy Law Roach dripping in designer garments? That’s something we can get behind.

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