Law Roach Speaks Out on Celebrity Styling Break, Focusing on Himself for 'First Time in Nearly a Decade'

"I haven't been happy, honestly, in a really long time," Law Roach said of his decision to retire from celebrity styling after announcing the news in a since-deleted Instagram post this week

Law Roach attends the 2021 LACMA Art + Film Gala presented by Gucci at Los Angeles County Museum of Art on November 06, 2021 in Los Angeles, California.
Law Roach. Photo: Taylor Hill/WireImage

Law Roach is officially retiring from celebrity styling.

After the revered image architect, 44, announced his retirement earlier this week in a since-deleted Instagram post, he tells PEOPLE in a statement that he's taking "some time to step away" from the job and "focus on myself for the first time in nearly a decade."

"For me, fashion has always been a love, not a job. I've spent so much time and energy nurturing this love, and it has become my way of communicating with the world," explains Roach, noting that he doesn't "plan to walk away from it entirely."

Roach — who has styled memorable looks for Zendaya, Céline Dion, Mary J. Blige, Ariana Grande and many others — previously shared the news on social media. "My Cup is empty," he started in the post.

"Thank you to everyone [who's] supported me and my career over the years," continued Roach. "Every person that trusted me with their image, I'm so grateful for you all. If this business was just about the clothes I would do it for the rest of my life but unfortunately it's not! The politics, the lies and false narratives finally got me! You win… I'm out."

Law Roach and Zendaya attend t.he 2021 CFDA Fashion Awards at The Grill & The Pool Restaurants on November 10, 2021 in New York City
Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty

He since confirmed he's "definitely, 100,000 percent retiring" from his work with stars in an interview with New York Magazine's The Cut.

"Nobody can say what's forever and what will happen, but at this moment, and in my mind, I'm definitely retiring from celebrity styling," he explained. "I'm not retiring from fashion, because I love it so much. But styling, in the way that I've been of service to other people, I'm retiring from that."

The Legendary alum said it's "always best to leave when you're on the top," explaining that his decision has "been building for a while" after he "looked up one day and honestly realized that I'm not happy."

"I haven't been happy, honestly, in a really long time. And the culmination of everything that's been happening in my career these last few days kind of just pushed me over the edge. And it's just like, You know what? I've done everything," he said.

Megan Thee Stallion attends the 2023 Vanity Fair Oscar Party Hosted By Radhika Jones
Amy Sussman/Getty Images

"I'm very grateful that I've been able to move and climb in this industry the way I have. But I can't say that I didn't do that without suffering," said Roach, adding: "I don't wanna suffer no more. I don't wanna be unhappy. I don't wanna be at the beck and call of people and their teams. I wanna take some time and figure out, you know, how to live."

He also explained that, although he makes genuine connections with many of the stars he works with, their teams act as "gatekeepers" in stifling any potential collaboration.

"It's always the narrative of, 'Oh, he's never gonna treat you the way he treats Zendaya. You're gonna get what she doesn't want,' " he said, referencing the Euphoria star, one of his most prominent clients and closest friends. "And that's not true, because none of my clients ever look the same. Like, I don't use edits.

"I don't walk around with suitcases of edits that Zendaya didn't want and offer 'em to other people. It's always those narratives, and I've lost a bunch of clients that I really care for and really wanted to work with because of the gatekeepers," added Roach.

Roach cited a recent incident with Megan Thee Stallion's team as well, after he dressed her for the Vanity Fair Oscars party last weekend, her first public appearance since her Tory Lanez trial victory.

"So that morning I got a call from one of my clients, and it was her, her publicist, and somebody from a brand that I'm supposed to do project with," he recalled. "And I found myself on the phone with these three women, and I felt like I was defending myself because the one woman from the brand was like, 'Oh, he's not communicating, and you're not gonna have a dress,' and all these things. And it was just a lot of things that were not true."

Priyanka Chopra Jonas attends the 2nd Annual South Asian Excellence Pre-Oscars Celebration at Paramount Pictures Studios on March 09, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.
Unique Nicole/Getty

After Priyanka Chopra Jonas opened up about working with a stylist (whom she did not name) who made her cry over not being "sample sized," Roach said it was "a little bit hurtful" reading that in the press as she appeared to be talking about the Oscars event he styled her for the previous night.

"Because that wasn't the real conversation. I've never had that conversation with her, ever," he noted. "So again, it is her gatekeepers, how they presented what I said to her to make her feel that way. And if that made her feel bad, that wasn't — it was taken out of context.

"But I'm sure it was taken outta context to get her to be like, 'Oh, okay, I'm not working with him no more. He's insensitive to my body.' Which I'm like, 'How is that possible? I've been dressing you for literally pre-pandemic, and it's been nothing but great things,' " added Roach.

RELATED VIDEO: Zendaya's Stylist Law Roach Breaks His Silence to Defend the Actress: 'Real Love Not Fake Industry Love'

Roach confirmed that his decision means "no Met Gala" for him this year, and his celebrity clients will "find a new stylist." However, he noted that he "doesn't have to style Zendaya" to continue being her creative director and work with other stylists on her image.

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"I haven't made a decision. She's giving me the grace to be able to make that decision because we really have a kinship," added Roach. "Like, you know, we've grown up together. And that's all I ever asked, was for people who I worked so hard for to just give me grace when I need it."

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