Law Roach Manifested His Fashion Dream, Now He’s Ready for the World

These days luxury houses are eager to align themselves with young stars, but it wasn’t

These days luxury houses are eager to align themselves with young stars, but it wasn’t long ago that most were reluctant to work with newcomers. “We were unknowns, so that was a challenge,” says Roach. “Designers didn’t want to dress her, and they weren’t interested in lending to me. Most stylists start as assistants, so they have these existing relationships with PRs and publicists. I didn’t have any of that, so [in the beginning] I was knocking on doors.” 

Zendaya in Alaïa at Dune‘s Paris Premiere

Photo: Getty Images

Zendaya in Balmain at the 2021 Venice International Film Festival

Photo: Getty Images

That absence of support from big brands pushed Roach to think outside the box. In a creative workaround, he used the ubiquity of tabloid “who wore it better” pages to generate buzz. “I would go to the showrooms and purposely borrow clothes that had already been worn by someone else,” he explains. “Those columns were a big thing, and every week she would end up in Us Weekly as a result.” The internet’s burgeoning importance also helped; online fans were encouraged to place their votes for best dressed on the publication’s website. “Zendaya is one of the most beautiful girls I’ve ever seen, and she has the physique of a model,” says Roach. “She would win 99{df277fece0e332513078d4db57f50d7f29a9f255adc120b3235ad73f23ad2e97} of the time, no matter who she was up against, and suddenly brands started paying attention.” 

Zendaya in Nensi Dojaka

Ricky Vigil

Zendaya in Peter Do

Steve Granitz

Roach also tapped into fresh talent, and the choice gave Zendaya an edge. She made a splash in an asymmetrical suit by Peter Do at the Women in Hollywood event in 2019. “There’s an intentionality to every request and conversation we have with Law, which is quite rare,” Do says of working with Roach. “[He] helped boost [our] international visibility and generate interest in the brand, as it was just our second season.” 

 That sentiment is echoed by Nensi Dojoka, who collaborated with Roach on a remixed version of her slinky cutout dress, which Zendaya wore to the after-party of Dune’s London premiere. “Having the support of people like Law is special, and it showcases the brand in this completely new light,” says Dojoka. “He gave me an opportunity that I’ll never forget—Zendaya was my dream woman to dress!”

Roach’s magic touch isn’t limited to the red carpet. In spring 2019, Zendaya and Roach also lent their talents to two hugely successful collections with Tommy Hilfiger, which featured retro-inspired separates evoking Diana Ross’s style in Mahogany and ’70s blaxploitation cinema. For Hilfiger, who worked closely with the duo on the project, the accolades make perfect sense. “I’m thrilled that Zendaya is being recognized with the CFDA Fashion Icon Award this year—it is a true testament to Law’s exceptional creative vision,” he says. “Law is a powerhouse talent who has paved an incredible path for himself in the fashion industry. He’s responsible for some of the most iconic celebrity styles we see today, and it’s admirable that the looks he creates are unique to every client and always tell a fascinating story. I’m proud to call him a dear friend and collaborator.”