Celebrity stylist Law Roach on racism in fashion and how he’s fighting back

Over the past week, many fashion brands have shown support for the Black Lives Matter movement following the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and more.

But according to celebrity stylist Law Roach, who works with Zendaya, Kerry Washington, Ariana Grande and more, the style world still has much work to do.

“I do believe that the fashion industry has underlying racism; that’s just understood. No one has to point out who are what you are, because you feel it as soon as you walk in the room,” the self-proclaimed “image architect,” 41, told Page Six Style.

“No, I have never had anyone call me [the N-word] or slam the door in my face, but I have walked into rooms where the conversation changed and the energy changed, and I will deal with that my whole life. I’ve also had situations where I was introduced as the assistant.”

Continued Roach, “You do have those moments where people try to put you in your place, whatever they think that place is. You come in knowing that you are not put on the same playing field as your white counterparts.”

However, he’s happy to see his black peers speaking out in the face of injustice this week. “I am grateful there are so many other amazing creatives that look like me, are likeminded and are at a certain level where they can use their platform,” he told us. “I think that this generation’s bravery is incredible; we’ve never seen anything like that before.”

Like Roach’s fellow celebrity stylist Jason Bolden, who on Wednesday called out luxury label Celine for refusing to dress black talent unless they worked with a white stylist. Or model Duckie Thot, who criticized the fashion industry’s silence in the wake of the protests.

And then there’s Roach’s colleague Kollin Carter, who now dresses the famously outspoken Cardi B. “Kollin used to be my former assistant, and rightfully he has a client who is just as vocal as him, if not more so. And you know there’s power in numbers; they are the dynamic duo.”

Now, the “Legendary” judge is harnessing his industry influence by launching an initiative to support smaller black fashion businesses, and jump-starting funding with $25,000 of his own money. Roach’s clients Demi Lovato and Jameela Jamil have already pledged to donate, as has stylist Samantha Burkhart, who dresses Billie Eilish and Katy Perry.

“I started to think about this idea a year ago, to kind of bring all the black creatives together,” he told us. “I already put in the process for a nonprofit for people who want to donate. It will be legitimate and they will know exactly where the money is going, and we can actually see it being used in the right way.”

Continued Roach, “We have some big organizations that have really stepped up. We have a lot of donations, a lot of individuals and brands, so it’s becoming much bigger than what I anticipated. I want to do it the right way and have all the t’s crossed and i’s dotted. I’m grateful that people are paying attention and are listening to me. The Black Fashion and Beauty Collective is what we’ll call it; the BFBC.”

The Hollywood stylist is particularly eager to help businesses damaged during the protests. “This will help the mom-and-pop shops that have been looted,” he said. “Unfortunately this might sound cruel to some people, but where there’s war, there’s always casualties.”

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