Stylist to the stars Law Roach, whose meteoric rise in the celebrity and fashion worlds captivated the press—he became the first Black person to be named The Hollywood Reporter’s most powerful stylist in 2021—and electrified the red carpet for muses like Issa Rae and Marvel actress Zendaya, announced he’s retiring from the profession in an Instagram post on Tuesday that hints at behind-the-scenes drama potentially prompting his exit.
“The politics, the lies and false narratives finally got me!” Roach wrote. “You win…I’m out.” The stylist’s sudden move is especially shocking given that his career is arguably at its apex: Roach’s longtime, fiercely ambitious styling work with Zendaya is routinely celebrated as some of the best in the business and he’s worked with many other high-profile stars, done guest judging stints on HBO fashion programming and, in 2022, was given the first-ever Stylist Award at the 2022 CFDA Fashion Awards.
His allies in the fashion world seemed floored by the announcement. “Law I won’t let you!!!!” supermodel Naomi Campbell, who’s spoken out extensively about the racism she’s experienced in the fashion industry, wrote on Roach’s post. “We don’t quit...strived too hard.”
“Absolutely not,” designer Christian Siriano weighed in.
Roach’s retirement post, while seemingly out of nowhere, suggests deep dissatisfaction—a fragment of which could seemingly be detected last week in a viral video of Roach and Zendaya taking their seats at the Louis Vuitton A/W 2023 show. In the clip, Zendaya quickly sits down next to actress Emma Stone in the front row as Roach follows closely behind, appearing confused as to where his front row seat is. Zendaya indicates that Roach could take a seat behind her in the second row, and he looks displeased.
The stylist, who also became a Louis Vuitton brand ambassador in February, had previously spoken warmly and at length about his relationship with Zendaya, even telling E! News last year that the actress, who has become his close friend, was the first person he texted after he found out he was on the TIME100 Next list. “We are always rooting for each other and every milestone we make I think is about our relationship and our love,” Roach said of Zendaya last October.
Despite his high-flying success, Roach wrote today that he’s tapped out. “My Cup is empty….. thank you to everyone who’ve supported me and my career over the years,” the rest of his post reads. “Every person that trusted me with their image, I’m so grateful for you all. If this business was just about the clothes I would do it for the rest of my life but unfortunately it’s not!”
The Daily Beast reached out to Roach and Zendaya for comment.