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Law Roach on his strength in fashion, Style Influencer Award FNAA 2021 – Footwear News

On November 30, Law Roach will be honored as Style Influencer of the Year at the 35th Annual FN Achievement Awards. Below is an article from the print issue of the November 29 magazine.

For a non-model, Law Roach makes modeling easy. It’s a late afternoon in New York and I quietly walk up a flight of stairs to a photoshoot at Grand Marnier, where Roach climbs a ladder with one foot on a step and the other protruding. He wears a black and white houndstooth coat and puffy skirt with spectacular platform heel boots. His hair is in braids and beads, which clicks between clicks as he strikes a new pose.

“I like the way you move after each shot. I usually have to tell people to do it, ”explains the photographer.

Clearly, Roach is a pro. He’s been in 30 cover sessions this year alone, despite being typically behind the biggest celebrities in camera-style entertainment. “I was also a judge on ‘America’s Next Top Model’ for two seasons, so I know,” he jokes.

The stylist partnered with the French cognac house to throw a party in Manhattan and was capturing content for the company before guests arrived. One would expect anxious energy before such an event, but Roach exudes calm. He is playful, drinks the prop drinks behind the bar. He is no stranger to this type of setting: before his foray into the world of fashion, he was a bartender in Chicago.

The day is a glimpse into Roach’s busy life, entering a new phase. It’s not often that stylists are talked about in the same breath as their clients, but its impact on fashion is undeniable.

Law Roach in a blazer, tank top, jeans and platform boots by Rick Owens; shot exclusively for FN.

CREDIT: Sage Est

Right roach

Law Roach in a blazer, tank top, jeans and platform boots by Rick Owens; shot exclusively for FN.

CREDIT: Sage Est

Many are familiar with Roach’s work with Zendaya. Over the past decade, the two have created countless red carpet stunners together, cementing her as a fashion icon – a title she won at the CFDA Fashion Awards this month. And Roach remembers every look.

“I firmly believe that the universe is putting me in people’s lives exactly when this is supposed to be happening,” he said. “When Zendaya and I started our journey, it was all about being a chameleon. Her style isn’t having a style, it’s being able to do what she wants when she wants to do it. think it’s a trend that I was at the forefront of.

Roach became known for his ability to disrupt. As he puts it, “You’re not going to call Law Roach if you just want to wear a pretty black dress,” he said. “I was at the forefront of vintage on the red carpet, [for example]. It showed me that I have influence, that I am influential in this way. “

Aside from Zendaya, Roach has designed the images of stars such as Priyanka Chopra, Anya Taylor-Joy, Lewis Hamilton, Halsey and Tiffany Haddish. And even when he’s no longer working with a client, Roach said the plan is already set for the next person to come. Hence its self-proclaimed title “image architect” (which is a registered trademark, by the way).

“Stylists, we are the ones who move [trends]. We are the ones who take something from
trail to real life. And I think we should get more credit for that, ”he explains. Designer Tommy Hilfiger seems to agree: “Law has an exceptional eye. He is a master storyteller and every detail of his work is well thought out. What sets him apart is that he’s not afraid to take risks with fashion and he does so in a way that is authentic and unique to each client he works with. He is a genius of style.


The next day we’re back on set as Roach prepares for his FN cover shoot. Just five years ago, he was here behind the scenes, helping to direct Zendaya’s cover moment to mark the launch of his shoe line in 2016.

His new position in front of the camera is a testament to Roach’s evolution and work ethic.

Law Roach, FN, Cover

Law Roach covers the November 29 print issue of FN.

CREDIT: Sage Est

“I’m a born hustler,” he said of his early days in fashion, where he traveled to New York from Chicago, pretending to be local so as not to miss out on opportunities. “I wanted people to say my name like the best one to ever do. And that’s what I was working towards. I didn’t know how I was going to get there. I didn’t have a clear plan. I just wanted to be the best.

Her days are now similar to those of a sleep-deprived new mom. He gets up at 3 a.m. about four days a week, works with clients and takes on a new position in London that he hasn’t been able to disclose. Then he goes back to bed around 6 or 7 a.m., only to wake up at 9 a.m., when his LA office opens.

This work, while exhausting, is fuel for Roach.

“I still have a lot of passion for what I do. I don’t think who I am as a person – what I look like, being a black man – has never existed in this world on this level. So I hope that my presence leaves room for other people who are like me. It’s the biggest motivation for me to work as I work, ”he said.

And he made room – literally – at the Met Gala this fall, when Hamilton tasked Roach with hosting a table filled with black talent. This included Roach, designers Kenneth Nicholson and Edvin Thompson, stylist Jason Rembert and others.

“The beautiful thing about that night was that the whole was greater than the sum of the parts. This moment had all these blacks in a space that just opened up for us. And it was powerful, it was Black and it was strong, ”Roach said.

During our interview, Roach referred to another up-and-coming black shoe designer, Sunni Sunni, as someone he admires and supports – at his own expense.

“Law Roach has been amazing to me since starting Sunni Sunni and had a big impact on my show,” said designer and founder Sunni Dixon, who was also on FN 2021’s Emerging Talent list.

In this business, anyone of influence is usually sent a free product, but for Roach it was important to pay for Sunni Sunni shoes.

“We can use social media and stand up for someone, but if you’re not really using your influence to change people’s economic status, then that doesn’t really mean to me,” he said. “Where I’m from, you kept your money under your mattress. I didn’t understand how to have a real, genuine relationship with money. Now I am becoming more financially literate. And as much as I’m learning, I want to be able to teach it to other people who are like me.


Back on the set of FN, Roach impresses the photographer. Beyoncé plays in the background and he gives Michael Jackson a foot in a 10-pound Marc Jacobs look paired with a Mary Janes platform. “I’m different,” Roach laughs.

Law Roach, Fnaa

Law Roach in an overcoat, puffer jacket, sequined tunic, pants, sunglasses and platform Mary Janes, all signed Marc Jacobs.

However, the work doesn’t stop even when it’s its time to shine. While filming, a young man (who may or may not be our new favorite webslinger) calls Roach on Facetime. “It’s beautiful, you look fmind blowing cking, ”I hear Roach say. (Later that night, one of his clients, Tom Holland, attended the 2021 GQ Men of the Year Awards in a costume Roach would likely describe as “fmind blowing cking. “)

The balance between being a stylist and creating your own brand is not easy. In fact, Roach is still trying to figure it out. “At the heart of who I am, I’m in the service industry,” he says. “I always have to come up with the mindset that doing something for me can’t interrupt the service I’m paid for, because that’s what pays my bills.”

That’s not to say his aspirations aren’t greater than ever.

Roach’s agent and Only Agency CEO Kent Belden said it was only a matter of time that his success as a stylist would lead to a range of opportunities. “I am constantly impressed with his dedication to fostering emerging talent and using his influence to inspire a new generation of talent,” said Belden. “Right now, the name Law Roach is synonymous with big names in fashion, and that’s just the beginning of its legacy.”

Roach dreams of becoming a Creative Director and ultimately wants his own lifestyle brand that covers everything from shoes to food. More immediately, however, a natural transition takes place through collaborations with brands.

“I’m going through the process to become more audience oriented and that’s something I understand,” he said. “I’m having fun, I’m going to make mistakes. I don’t want to fail. I get comments that what I do makes people happy and it makes me happy so I’m able to just make people feel something.

For more photos of Law Roach from the FN cover photo shoot, click the gallery.

Hair by Antoinette Hill
Makeup by Amber Amos
Stylized by Law Roach FN
Style Director Shannon Adducci
Wardrobe by Posh McKoy

For 35 years, the annual FN Achievement Awards – often referred to as the “Shoe Oscars” – have celebrated fashion stars, top brand stories, ardent philanthropists, emerging talent and industry veterans. The 2021 event is supported by main sponsor Nordstrom, as well as Authentic Brands Group, FDRA, Informa, On and Wolverine Worldwide.

Tags : creative directorred carpet
Hazel J. Edmonds

The author Hazel J. Edmonds