A very long time ago I interviewed Law Roach for my menswear blog formally known as Labeling Men. I attended an event Law was a part of through the CFDA at the W Hotel in Hollywood. It was a final presentation from an incubator program, pairing designers to mentors (like celebrity stylists or highly established designers). Roach was on the precipice of insane stardom in the fashion industry, specifically with a focus on styling.
Find the audio from the interview here:
In hearing the news today that Law Roach is retiring from the fashion industry I could not be less surprised. It brought me back to when I met him. He was humble, kind, and authentic, describing the latter trait as rare is an understatement. Though I will miss his style and aesthetic he has fine tuned over the years, I'm more impressed more than anything. So many people go along with the nonsense that the fashion industry offers just for a shot at the top. Its face of glitz and glamour lures the most vulnerable of insecure narcissists. They pose as lovers of art and design and color and aesthetic, but they just want to be popular. And the obsession with money leads to the fact they've got high marketing bills to pay and profits to make.
I knew early on I wouldn't be able to fake it. I can't pretend to think anyone is more important than someone else so it was very clear I was not cut out for the cut throat industry that is selling clothes. It took me about 15 years to really understand what didn't jive with my spirit, but once I felt an unbearable amount of frustration I packed up and moved back to the country. I feel a kinship in Law's retirement. I've never rose to such high ranks to compare myself to Roach's exact journey, but I think at a certain point it all feels the same. Cycling through showrooms who cycle through PR girls. The top stylists all know each other and each others clients. They smile to their faces and gossip behind their backs. It's exhausting just trying to figure out who you can trust, let alone the amount of work you have to put into a thankless job that is so much harder than anyone will ever understand.
When I officially left fashion, or chasing the thrill of fashion, I moved back home. Home is in the country and I instantly felt connected back to nature and even more to letting my creativity flow out of my body without disruption. I started to write about my journey in the fashion industry and eventually took to canvas. It felt more natural to me, I've always enjoyed texture, color, aesthetic and tactile imagery. I wanted to express feeling what being trapped in the me-centric abyss felt like; the constant spiral into darkness. The comparison, the self hatred, and sexism, AND the racism, it was impossible to stomach. It weighed so heavy on my soul, sometimes I felt like I couldn't breathe.
In my time working in fashion I was asked to do things that were so far out of the realm of my job description; I was harassed sexually, verbally, physically (if you count not being allowed to sit for hours on end or being forced to carry 10+ garment bags at once in one trip), oh and emotionally, is that enough?
I won't dive too into my story, as there are different mediums for expression I'd like to use. But I wanted to share my support for Law, whether he remembers meeting me or not, I understand how he feels. I wish more people would leave, and I wish more people would be honest about their experiences to set off a wave of change. Unfortunately the light seems too dim at the opposing side of a tunnel.