Law Roach on Zendaya's Reaction to His Retirement: 'I Thought We Made Decisions Together'
Law Roach is continuing to share his truth about his decision to retire.
The self-proclaimed image architect and longtime celebrity stylist to the stars shocked the fashion world last week when he announced he was retiring from his near-decade-long career in the industry.
Now, on the most recent episode of Emily Ratajkowski's podcast HighLow with EmRata, the style icon is letting the world in on what led up to the jaw-dropping announcement and how his main muse Zendaya reacted to the news.
Roach told Ratajkowski that he didn't give Zendaya any warning and the news "was tough" for her, seeing as the duo launched into the upper echelon of the fashion world side-by-side and that Roach helped Zendaya break her child-star image through fashion.
"She called and said, 'Girl, I thought we'd make big decisions together,'" Roach shared of the Euphoria star's reaction to the the news.
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"She, of course, she supported me," he continued. "She's like, 'do you need me to send you on a vacation? Like, tell me what, tell me what you're going through.' And I you know, talk to her about, you know, just being unhappy and being unhappy for a really long time and still grieving the death of my nephew. So we had that talk. And she was like, 'whatever you need, whatever you need.' But the internet is cruel. It's really cruel."
Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty
Roach said that the decision was even harder on the pair because of the false narrative the internet was painting about their relationship.
"People started to blame her for my retirement. And that wasn't fair to her. And the things they were saying, of course, isn't true. So that spilled over to my suffering, she started to suffer too. And I didn't think I didn't think that was fair. Because she has always protected me in this industry and vice versa."
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Roach also opened up about the years-long build-up to his retirement decision, and how the loss of his 3-year-old nephew was the turning point that made him change his outlook on his career.
"I lost my nephew, two years ago, the day before Thanksgiving when he was three. And he fell out of their apartment window. And I think that's when a shift for me started to happen… priorities family, because I had literally only got to really see my nephew, maybe four times in his three years because of work and the guilt of that you didn't even get a chance you didn't get a chance to hold him enough. You didn't get a chance to kiss him and tell him you love them enough. So that was really tough for me. I had never been depressed in my life. And I went through a bout of really, really strong depression."
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Speaking more about what inspired him to step away from his celebrity styling, he added, "I just woke up one day. And I've been dealing with a lot of anxiety, like crippling anxiety, honestly. And I'm like, why, I know how to do this job. It's the only thing I know how to do. But I just started to realize like, I'm not in relationship, I have never been in a relationship. These last eight, nine years, my focus has only been my career blinders on like, so I lost a lot of friends."
For now, he's taking time to focus on himself and his mental health, maintaining that he will always love fashion.
After he announced his retirement last week in a since-deleted Instagram post, Roach told PEOPLE in a statement that he's taking "some time to step away" from the job and "focus on myself for the first time in nearly a decade."
"For me, fashion has always been a love, not a job. I've spent so much time and energy nurturing this love, and it has become my way of communicating with the world," explained Roach, noting that he doesn't "plan to walk away from it entirely."
Roach — who has styled memorable looks for Zendaya, Céline Dion, Mary J. Blige, Ariana Grande, Priyanka Chopra, Kerry Washington and many others — was honored with the inaugural Stylist Award at the 2022 CFDA Fashion Awards last year.