Zendaya’s Stylist Law Roach On His Strategy For Dressing The Star

As Zendaya’s stylist and co-creative director of her shoe line Daya by Zendaya, Law Roach is her secret weapon when it comes to creating a fashion identity. The L.A.-based risk-taker also tends to the fashion needs of Ariana Grande, Skai Jackson, Ruby Rose and Celine Dion. And recently, he scored a gig as judge on the upcoming “America’s Next Top Model.”

Here, Law sheds some light on the quirky ways he works.

On how he and Zendaya met:
“I met her through a really close friend of their family. I was just in the right place at the right time. We met so randomly in L.A. on the day Justin Bieber had a premiere for his ‘Never Say Never’ film. She was going shopping to figure out something to wear. The family friend said I was a great stylist, but I wasn’t a stylist at the time, per se. We went shopping and have been friends ever since. We went to Santa Monica – the Promenade. We got the entire look from Nordstrom and Kitson. She wore this Alice and Olivia metallic blazer and a white tank top and a moldy greenish-looking patent leather Alexander Wang skirt and some black tights and black boots. We thought it was so conceptual. I think it was age appropriate and cool, because in L.A., sometimes the girls are very safe or really sexy. It’s always a crop top and A-line skirt. I think in comparison to that, back then it was ahead of its time. That was the very first look.”

Zendaya Stylist Law Roach
Zendaya with her long-term personal stylist, Law Roach.
CREDIT: Thomas Iannaccone.

On how Zendaya’s style has evolved:
“She has become one of the girls to watch. For us, I don’t think we have a look. You can’t just look at something and say, ‘That’s Zendaya.’ As opposed you can look at some other people and say, ‘That’s very J.Lo, that’s very Gwen Stefani, that’s very Halle Berry.’ For us, every look is a new experience.”

On how his head-to-toe looks come together:
“A shoe can inspire us, or a dress or hairstyle I’ve been thinking about. There’s no set way we do it. We do this [stuff] because it’s fun for us. We’ll go back after and laugh at the pictures the next day. We do a lot of it just to entertain ourselves. Like the hair and makeup for the Met Gala, I watched ‘Conan the Barbarian,’ and one part of it there was this group of people that worshipped a big serpent. So I wanted to do something reptilian-looking mixed with something Cleopatra, so that’s where it came from. The shoes didn’t show, but we did a customized Stuart Weitzman.”

Zendaya Met Gala 2016 Red Carpet Shoes
Zendaya on the red carpet wearing a Michael Kors gown and custom dyed Stuart Weitzman Runway platform sandals.
CREDIT: REX Shutterstock.

On how they collaborate on styling:
“She pretty much lets me do whatever I want, but when I bring her things, she’ll say, ‘I was just thinking about that.’ Or she’ll put a reference from her phone and she just screenshot the day before. We have this unique synergy. We can finish each other’s sentences. We can basically look at each other and automatically know. It’s the weirdest [thing] ever. We’ve grown up together. We’ve helped each other through things together. It’s not just stylist-artist, stylist-client. She’s my boss, really, but it’s this real, natural organic thing that we have. She’s not afraid of anything, so that makes it even more fun. Like [for the FN cover shoot], I said, ‘Let’s do braids like A$AP Rocky,’ and she said, ‘OK.’ She does have her own point of you, but I’m lucky to understand that so I can keep my vision within the realm of who she is. I call her my fashion soul mate.”

Zendaya Behind The Scenes Photo Shoot
Tag team: Roach and FN fashion director Mosha Lundström Halbert get Zendaya zipped and buttoned up in her Angus booties and a fringy number by BCBGMAXAZRIA.

On his path to styling:
“I’ve always been obsessed with vintage, so I would go to a lot of resale stores and estate sales and started to collect this huge collection of vintage things. My mom was like, ‘You’re filling up my house —what are you going to do with it?’ I had friends over, and they were like, ‘I’ll buy that from you’. So something I got for $2, I would sell for $50, I thought, this was a business —a real business. That turned into opening up a couple of boutiques, which led to styling.”

On what being an “image architect” means, the term he refers to himself as on Instagram:
“That was really me being shady. I feel like that term is oversaturated and a lot of people call themselves a stylist. I wanted to separate myself not in a bad way, but because I’m involved in a strategic level. I do the full look, except for Ariana [Grande]. I do hair, makeup, nail color. I am obsessed. I have to control the whole look.”

Zendaya Stylist Law Roach
Zendaya and Law Roach.
CREDIT: Courtesy Image.

On establishing individuality among his clients:
“They are not similar at all. The age group, the style, the aesthetic is different. That’s what people like about working about me because I don’t dress my girls the same. I figure out who they are, where they are and I incorporate my aesthetic into that but keeping it very organic as opposed to some other stylists who dress 10 girls and all 10 look the same. I try to spend time with my girls and identify with them.”

On the shoe design process:
“It’s very tedious because we try to be as hands-on as possible. We look at fabrication, study heel heights and trends, like what’s selling in which part of the country and which stores. It’s long, drawn-out process just to get to the shoe. We both didn’t think it would be that much work, but it really is. She’s very adamant about having control and input on something that has her name on it.”

Zendaya Behind The Scenes Photo Shoot
For the shoot in downtown Los Angeles’ flower district, Zendaya and her stylist Law Roach arrived willing to try designer looks and denim that showcased her Daya by Zendaya shoes.

On a shoe memory with Zendaya:
“Christian Louboutin makes this pump — a single sole pump — it’s called the Hot Chick. It has a pitch that’s straight up and six inches. Rumor has it that he said he did not design the shoes to be worn outside — they were made for the bedroom because they are super-sexy. She made me find them for her, and we decided she would wear them to the red carpet of the Radio Disney Music Awards last year. She put them on and said, ‘This isn’t so bad.’ Literally eight minutes into the walk to the carpet, I was holding her up because her legs were buckling. She got to the carpet — and you’d never know — she did the carpet and she walked off, and we had to carry her a little bit until she took the shoe off. But she did it.”

For a look behind the scenes on FN’s cover shoot with Zendaya, click through the gallery below.

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