He’s styled them all. From songstress Zendaya to the legendary diva that is Céline Dion, Roach has certainly clothed a diverse set of powerful women. With a roster this unique it is important for him to really understand his client. “I always go in very open minded and really try to figure out who they are, and not just who we think they are. I think that’s what made the collaboration with Céline and myself really great – I quickly understood who she was. Before she started her fashion thing, we all had this idea of Céline, this legend, the voice, the Vegas shows, the couture gowns. However, no one really knew the cool Céline” he explains.
The French-Canadian singer discovered Roach after enquiring about who styled Zendaya. “She started looking at my work with Zendaya and she loved it! Céline thought it was also appropriate for her. So I went to Vegas and met with her. We talked for 45 minutes and then two days later I received a call from her team saying that she wanted me to go to Paris with her for a month – and one month has now turned into three years.”
"If you can’t be as big as them, then you’re going to seem small and you won’t be taken seriously.”
The collaboration has been mutually beneficial, Roach explains. “It came at a time when I think she needed something new. I started working with her four months after her husband, René, and her brother passed away, so she was going through a lot. I think that the universe put us together at a perfect time because she needed a change and I needed to be challenged in my career. Céline Dion is a machine, a legend – and I didn’t have that type of experience at the time. I had worked with big stars before, like Ariana Grande, but I learned so much from Céline – about fashion and tailoring. So for me to be pushed into that and test my limits was a challenge.” And push she did. Céline has been making headlines for her sartorial choices ever since the duo joined force
The self-proclaimed image architect is also known for forging his own path. “I’ve always been the same person, even as a teenager. I didn’t know how I would get to where I am now, but I knew I was going to get here. I think that most people get caught up in trying to figure out a role or the next step when they really only have to focus on the end result. And I’ve always been the type of person to focus on the end result,” reveals Roach.
When working with stars such as Ariana Grande, Mary J. Blige and Anne Hathaway it is important to be able to hold your own. “I did not have a lot of opportunity. I’m not from anyone’s legacy. Nepotism didn’t get me where I am. It was me working hard and figuring out the situation – but also believing in what I think is right and having convictions and the confidence to be in a room with someone like Céline Dion and still have an opinion. This takes a lot of confidence because the people I work with are big. If you can’t be as big as them, then you’re going to seem small and you won’t be taken seriously.”
"It started the narrative that black hair is beautiful and should be celebrated."
His career highlight was a political one. “When Zendaya went to the Oscars in 2015 wearing a Vivienne Westwood gown and faux dreadlocks – that caused quite a stir but also started an important conversation about black hair. To be part of that type of social and cultural change was a very proud moment. It changed a lot. After that you saw women in the workplace wearing dreads and braids. Black women started going on the carpet with natural hair. It started the narrative that black hair is beautiful and should be celebrated.”
Roach is also no stranger to our region. He is a fan of designers Elie Saab, Nicolas Jebran and Zuhair Murad and loves Middle Eastern style. “I’m really intrigued by modest fashion because for me that’s styling. The accessories and the layering – that is what I think fashion really is.”
“I’m really intrigued by modest fashion because for me that’s styling. The accessories and the layering – that is what I think fashion really is.”
So who would he like to style next? “No-one. I just don’t think that way. I’m very spiritual when it comes to my work. If I’m supposed to be in your life then the universe will put me in your life. If you need me or I need you then it will happen.”
Photos: Supplied and Instagram @luxurylaw