Stylist Law Roach Recalls Racism in Zendaya's Early Career: Nobody Wanted to Dress Black Girls

credit: @luxurylaw/Instagram

Despite only being 24 years old, Zendaya has already become a style icon, exuding sophisticated style with the propensity to take the right kind of risks. Her red carpet looks have launched her to the top of numerous best-dressed lists and it’s, at least in part, thanks to her longtime stylist Law Roach.

Roach is Zendaya’s biggest and loudest champion. He fought hard for her in the early years, facing prejudiced opposition from the fashion world for being a Black male stylist with a Black female client. In a recent interview with Paper magazine, he discussed the struggles he faced when he first started dressing Zendaya in 2011. He said,

“To be very honest, a lot of the houses weren’t dressing Black girls.”

He continued,

“I really believed in her from the day she walked in. I thought she was a star and I wanted to throw everything that I had, anything that I could do, into her. I just felt like the world needed to know this girl so what it forced me to do was to start building relationships with emerging designers, which in essence was forcing me to be even more creative in a space that I already had no experience in.”


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A post shared by Law Roach (@luxurylaw)

Law echoed similar sentiments in a 2017 interview with Fashionista and said,

“All the big fashion houses were saying the same thing: no, no, no, no.”

He added

“I fought for Zendaya for years, I fought for her… I just didn’t understand what they didn’t see that this was one of the most beautiful girls in the world.”

Roach has been fighting for Zendaya for a decade, ever since the two of them were introduced through a friend of a friend. Their first red carpet look together was for Justin Bieber’s Never Say Never movie premiere.

Since then, the two have collaborated on iconic red carpet looks that have landed Zendaya on numerous Best Dressed lists.

On top of that, they also created a gender-neutral clothing line called Daya By Zendaya as well as a capsule collection for Tommy Hilfiger called Tommy x Zendaya.


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A post shared by Law Roach (@luxurylaw)

For her part, Zendaya clearly has only the deepest admiration for the man whose fearlessness in fashion allowed her to build up her own confidence.

At 2019’s InStyle Awards, she presented Roach with the Stylist of the Year award. She told the crowd,

“You have taught me so much about myself, to not give an F about what people think, to be proud of who I am and when I look in the mirror. You always remind me if I ever get nervous about my hair, makeup, or whatever, that — do you care what they really think? And I say nope, and then we go. You’ve inspired me to be fearless with the roads that you continue to pave. I’m lucky to be by your side.”

Since the two first started working together in 2011, designers have begun tripping over themselves to dress the actress. In the last 10 years, she’s worn everyone from Versace to Armani to Givenchy to Vera Wang.

Additionally, Zendaya became a spokesmodel for Lancome in 2019 and the face of both Bulgari and Valentino in 2020.


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Ashley Turner
Ashley is a Blerd and pop culture glutton with a penchant for video games. She is a freelance writer, whose articles have appeared in Black Girl Nerds and Screen Rant. Life is happiest for her when she's able to indulge in her childhood hobby, by putting pen to page.