“Twenty years? I’m not that old! My age on the internet is all over the place, so no one really knows! But I count me working in this industry as beginning from when I moved to LA. And I moved to LA in 2014—that’s when my career started.”
Please accept my apologies for the terrible math! So that’s nigh on a decade. In your Instagram post you used the word ‘retire,’ but what we’re seeing tonight feels more like a transition?
“Yeah, it’s been overwhelming the amount of love. Because I also work and live in a bubble, in which my clients are my priority, more so than my own health and happiness. And, in my mind, you know, I was doing this [making his statement of retirement] just to relieve some pressure for myself, right? I was riding in the car and I made a decision. I said: “You know what, I’ve done everything I wanted to do in this career. I’ve received all the awards, the accolades, I’ve changed people’s lives…And I just feel like, I’ve had enough, you know? So that Instagram post wasn’t a PR stunt. It was really me giving myself the grace to say: It’s okay. You can do something else.”
“Yeah. And that kind of became this other thing that I wasn’t quite ready for. I have had an outpouring of support, text messages and DMs that I haven’t gotten back to yet because it’s just overwhelming. Even fans saying that watching my work brings them joy. And people I’ve worked with like: “No, you can’t leave because, you know, we love working with you.” And just all these things… It’s beautiful. And it made me even more excited about today and working with Boss and them giving me an opportunity to to be shown in a different light, you know?”
That’s a profound existential fear. So what you’re saying is that fear motivated you to become a workaholic to suppress it from possibly manifesting, and then that strategy itself created a negative consequence?
“Yeah. And when I made that decision yesterday, I stepped back and looked at my life and realized I don’t have anything but that career. I don’t want that to be the legacy… So to answer your question, what I plan on doing is other things. Like what I’m doing today with Boss. I also plan on teaching: I want to be more involved with people who look like me who want to figure out how to have the opportunity to do things that I’ve done, right?… I want that to be my legacy, a legacy that I really helped change people’s lives—and not just the celebrities’ by putting them in the best dress, you know?”
And there is your television work. Plus we are colleagues—you are West Coast Editor of British Vogue. So maybe we’ll see more of your work there?
“I’m trying to figure it all out, you know? This just happened yesterday. I’m soul searching and I’m speaking to people that I trust, like Edward [Enninful], and I just have to figure it out. But I’m so excited that today I get to release. The Boss team has been really supportive of me: sensitive and kind. I really appreciate that and it makes me want to do the best job on the runway that I possibly can do.”
So how are you facing the challenge of walking the runway?
“I don’t think I have any challenges. I’m a fucking diva! Even if they were to put me on a 10-inch high heel I would be walking that runway. The little gay boy in me—I’m living out a dream! The hair, the makeup, the look they chose for me: it’s literally a dream!”
Immediately after what would prove to be an absolutely nuts show—Law shared the runway with models including Pamela Anderson, DJ Khaled, Naomi Campbell, Khaby Lame, and Precious Lee, all of whom were thoroughly drenched by the killer combination of a fountain backdrop and high winds—we caught up with him backstage. So how did it go? Roach said: “For my first time walking to be in a production as big as this was incredible. I have so much more respect for the models: to be able to walk in these elements, in those puddles… In my mind I was saying, “Think Naomi. Think Naomi. Think Naomi!” And I think the spirit of Naomi and her being here really pulled through. So it was fine! That water was aggressive, but I think it was beautiful.” If you can walk the show Boss challenged its models to this evening, then there aren’t many runways you can’t master: Law Roach’s next chapter has begun.
This content was originally published here.