When Law Roach and Zendaya first met, he was a thrift store owner who couldn’t pay his bills and she was still Zendaya Coleman, a 14-year-old Disney girl looking to style and shape her race. . Being known simply by name would come later, when thanks to Roach’s outfits and good eye, she would become a global style icon and, later, one of the most admired actresses of her generation. During this first meeting, the two were lost, but both had very clear ideas: “She wanted to be a fashion star”, recalls Roach in fashion Last year. Just as Zendaya received the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) award for fashion icon, an award that in previous editions had gone to Beyoncé, Naomi Campbell, Jennifer Lopez or Rihanna.
This week, a year later, Law Roach was in charge of uploading on the CFDA stage, but in her case to garner an unprecedented award that had never been given before: Stylist of the Year. He didn’t turn down the statuette, but Law Roach doesn’t like being called a stylist. His thing, which he defends as soon as he can, is to be an “image architect”. He dresses up images for the popular culture archive and launches careers along the way. In addition to Zendaya, she has dressed names like Celine Dion, Serena Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Priyanka Chopra, Bella Hadid, Ariana Grande… The CFDA was not her first recognition: in September, she got snuck in list of magazines Time which compiles 100 influential names in their respective industries and last year he made history by becoming the first black man to be named number one on the prestigious annual list of hairstylists he selects The Hollywood Reporter (honour renewed this year).
Law Roach did not have it easy. The eldest of five siblings, the son of a broken family in Chicago’s troubled South, and a drug-addicted mother. From a very young age, he was attached to his grandmother and with her, he set foot in a thrift store for the first time. He liked to rummage in the racks and from time to time he bought clothes, always with great care. He put them in the trunk of the car and soon friends and acquaintances asked him to buy them. He ended up opening his own store, Deliciously Vintage, which rose to prominence when Kanye West visited in 2009. The disgraced rapper was photographed entering the store. “TMZ made a story about it and with Kanye’s kind of global influence, a lot of stylists started calling us,” Roach said. The number. It was his first taste of the honeys of virality and the impact of appearing in the media, a lesson he has not forgotten.
Today social networks have helped to show that behind an immaculate photograph on the red carpet hides a whole working team. But few designers have come out of the backstage savviest enough to be recognized by the general public. With over 1.2 million followers on your Instagram account, Roach is an exception, a celebrity in his own right because before maybe he had only achieved it rachel zoe. But his conception of fashion is antagonistic to that of the creator of the zoettes. Zendaya’s stylist uses each of the outfits who builds to tell a story. He knows the superficiality of the carpet, but also that in a world where filters have become a lens through which to view the world, audiences willingly embrace any fantasy of escapism. He draws from this desire to viralize images, which, in the era of screens, is particularly relevant. And it is that the image of a celebrity counts: it ensures its presence in the media, advertising campaigns and even newspapers. Zendaya is showered with contracts with major luxury firms (Bvlgari, Lancôme or Valentino), which bring in a succulent percentage of their income.
After her first meeting with this teenager Zendaya, which she arrived accompanied by her father, Roach took on the task of dressing her to attend the premiere of the documentary. Justin Bieber: Never say never. This first collaboration ended with a silver jacket from Alice and Olivia and a leather skirt from Alexander Wang, marking the beginning of a lucrative alliance and above all a friendship that continues to this day. Since then, they have been inseparable and form one of the most powerful and influential tandems in two industries: entertainment and fashion. She is like her little sister, always says the stylist, who succeeded against all odds in making her one of the best-dressed women of the moment. It wasn’t easy at first: no one knew them and no one lent them clothes, so Roach settled for clothes from his second-hand collection. Also demonstrating that media handling she learned years ago, looking for clothes that other celebrities had worn before. Thus, a place was assured in the “who wears it best” sections that were so successful ten years ago. Plus, to the surprise of a few, Zendaya has always worn it better. These appearances, first in the tabloids and then in more specialized media, paved the way for him and placed his client among the women to consider.
The turning point for them both came in 2015, when Zendaya was invited to the Oscars for the first time. For the occasion, she wore a photogenic white satin dress by Vivienne Westwood. “She’s the emerging style star of the Oscars,” they wrote of her in fashion, while controversial presenter Giuliana Rancic said her dreadlocks smelled like patchouli oil or weed. Crowned as an icon by ‘the bible of fashion’ and placed at the center of the controversy by being the victim of a racist comment, the protagonist of euphoria It quickly became a topic of conversation.
This idea of being viral is still very present in the works of Law Roach today. One of the simplest and most used resources is to recreate or take inspiration from vintage look. Thus, the next day, thousands of posts in all social networks comparing the two (and social networks like comparisons are posts that generate a lot of reach). Returning to his most famous client, during the last two editions of the Oscars, he made her imitate Cher and Sharon Stone. Even the latter gave her a thumbs up the next day on Instagram with a “big fan of yours, sweetheart,” presumably much to the delight of Zendaya, Law Roach, their fans, and the click-seeking media. A symbiosis that the stylist is able to reproduce with all the women he dresses, for whom he is able to imagine a personal style and a discourse through clothing.
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