Far from thinking about fashion, he was thinking about how to feed his siblings. “I was always big brother/mother because my mother suffered from alcoholism and drug addiction,” he said. “I had to cook. I had to clean. I raised my youngest brother when my mom passed away. I grew up with nothing. Literally, nothing.”
While working as a bartender, he and his best friend opened a vintage clothing store called Deliciously Vintage. One day in 2009, Kanye West walked in, and Mr. Roach was soon fielding inquiries from around the world.
“People started calling the store, ‘Hey, I’m a stylist for this magazine, do you have. …’ It triggered something in me,” said Mr. Roach, who started calling himself a stylist. Now he calls himself an “image architect,” because, he said “I didn’t have someone else’s formula of how to do this job, I created my own.”
Two years later, one of his customers, a close friend of Zendaya’s father, invited him to Los Angeles. Zendaya, then a budding Disney star, was going to Justin Bieber’s “Never Say Never” premiere. “They were going to the mall to find something to wear, and my friend Chastity was like, ‘Oh, you should take Law. He loves clothes, he can help,’” Mr. Roach said. “So, we all went to the mall. And Zendaya and I have been together ever since.”
Now Mr. Roach is gearing up to help Zendaya with the press tour for “Spider-Man Far From Home” with Tom Holland, as well as starring in the Bloomingdale’s 2019 spring “Mix Masters” campaign, as himself. He is also eyeing a creative endeavor, whether it is taking the helm of an existing brand or starting his own.
Mr. Roach believes people must demand change, and at all levels. “This next generation of girls in Hollywood — the Zendayas, the Yara Shahidis, the Kiki Laynes — these women are coming in asking to work with people who look like them,” he said. “That’s the only way this landscape is going to change. We have to be able to be in these rooms.”