Since the early 2000s, celebrity stylist Law Roach has taken the fashion industry by storm. The Chicago native began by finding and curating vintage fashion pieces long before the creation of sites like The Real Real. He styles an array of well-known clients — from Celine Dion and Kerry Washington to Venus Williams and Priyanka Chopra.
Roach has also styled various red carpet appearances and magazine covers for Vogue, Glamour, The Hollywood Reporter, GQ, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, and more. He has styled looks with clothing, jewelry, hair, and makeup that appeared on 32 covers in 2021.
The self-described “image architect” built his own empire in the fashion and beauty industry, inspired by fellow celebrity stylist, Rachel Zoe.
“Rachel was my window into what was possible. I wanted that version of the career,” he told BoF during an interview. “I knew I wanted to diversify in front of the camera, and everything I’ve done to this point has been very strategic. It’s been about having the right conversations at the right time.”
During his early years as a stylist, Roach set out to increase the budget for music artists. In addition to Zendaya, the fashion designer has worked with Keke Palmer, Cardi B, Megan Thee Stallion, Mary J. Blige, Jennifer Hudson, and his longtime client, Zendaya, to name a few.
By 2017, his private clientele also began to rise as he worked with billionaires and socialites like “Bling Empire” star Jaime Xie. Roach said, “She wanted to raise her profile in fashion, so I took her on and got her a couple of magazine covers and got her to sit at couture.”
The 44-year-old served as a judge on “America’s Next Top Model” and the voguing reality show, HBO’s “Legendary.” He’s also styled movies like “Malcolm & Marie” and additional work on “The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion.”
“I am going to take $1,000 when my clients have a movie, that’s part of it,” the stylist explained. “Or if there is somebody I really want to work with and want to see if we have some magic, I will do that.”
His clients wear the best fabrics and designs from around the world. But with his net worth of at least $1 million, his services are not cheap.
“You have to have a certain budget to have those services,” he said. “Someone might say, ‘Go and find a McQueen dress from the Shipwreck collection’ and it may take me flying into Paris or London.”
On average, a fashion stylist’s salary in the U.S. is $54,271 as of August 29, 2022, but the salary range typically falls between $50,006 and $59,192, according to Salary.com. Of course this range jumps up significantly when the stylist’s clientele include celebs and notables.
Higher-end stylists may charge between $100-$300 an hour, while celebrity stylists can charge $15,000 or more per day, according to stylist school Sterling Style Academy. And celeb stylist charge even more for special events — and they can earn commissions.
Stylist Jessica Paster explained during a panel on celebrity dressing hosted by the Cut, that stylists can receive anywhere from $30,000 to $50,000 for brokering deals between designers and celebrities. In this case, the stylist is acting a a go-between, as designers will pay actors to wear their designs for an event like the Oscars. When the stylist connects the designer and celeb, the stylist gets a cut.
The Chicago native is regularly booked at New York Fashion Week, Paris Fashion Week, and other global fashion events. Over time, clients turned to friends, allowing him to break barriers while inspiring others as a creative genius.
“I also look at it as aspirational,” Roach said of his career. “Someone who looks like me, from where I’m from who doesn’t know this is possible. If people take me talking about money and my success in a certain way, I don’t mind, because I didn’t know this was possible until I did it.”
If you didn’t know, Zendaya is one of Roach’s top clients, whom he refers to as his “fashion muse.” The pair have worked together since she was 14 years old and regularly reflect on their combined success over the years.
“I think one of the reasons we do that is we have the opportunity to talk about how grateful we are for the way things happened and the way things are happening to us in our careers,” Roach told The Wall Street Journal in March.
He recently designed the Valentino dress Zendaya wore at the 2022 Emmys, where Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series for the second time. After watching the 24-year-old “Euphoria” star grow from “a girl to a woman,” Roach now calls her “family…like my sister.”
“I don’t know if we’ve pushed each other in terms of style, but really quickly when I started working with her, we really hit the sweet spot where I just was able to look at clothes almost like I am her.” He continued, “And to choose things that make you feel something, that I know when I get the clothes or dress from wherever in the world, when I get it to her and she puts it on, she’ll feel something. And that’s basically all that I look for.”