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“What is the craziest thing Law Roach has ever done in a fit of rage?”
That is the question moderator Anthony Allen Ramos tossed to the superstar stylist minutes into their conversation Wednesday afternoon at L.A.’s Lombardi House as part of a special event to spotlight Netflix’s new series Beef. The query clearly was inspired by the plot that follows the lives of two characters, played by Steven Yeun and Ali Wong, in the wake of a road rage incident. And Roach’s answer reflected where he’s at right now in his life and career.
“Quit my job,” offered Roach as the room, filled with media and influencers, erupted with laughter and applause. “Thank you, Netflix, because I needed this.” That line got a lot of laughs, too, and then Roach clarified that when he announced his retirement from the personal styling business, he wasn’t fired up over one specific incident (at least that he was prepared to reveal with a microphone in his hand) but instead was upset that he lost track of himself.
“It was the rage I had I had with myself,” he explained. “I think that I’ve given so much of me to my clients and to my career and to my success that I don’t know really when the last time I was a priority for me. At that moment [when I announced my retirement], I had some things that happened, but I wasn’t mad at everybody on the outside. I was mad at myself. I figured out that I didn’t love myself. All of my rage was internal. In that fit of rage, I said, ‘You know what, get somebody else to do it.'”
While the event literally had rage printed on the invite — dubbed a “Release Your Rage” retreat — the well-produced afternoon had an easy, breezy feel. Guests floated across the lawn, nibbling on light bites like wontons and dumplings (from RiceBox with sauces by Fly by Jing), sipping refreshments (like Health-Ade kombucha) and partaking in mindfulness exercises (painting and plant therapy followed by a meditation and sound bath).
During a five-minute chat with The Hollywood Reporter at the event, Roach also had wellness on the brain as he opened up about how he’s processing the major life decision, why he doesn’t drive and the most interesting incoming call he’s received since he announced his retirement from personal styling. (Hint: It could potentially involve more TV!).
I saw you just a few days ago at THR’s Stylists dinner and you’ve been around the world since then. First of all, how was India?
India was incredible. Whether you work in fashion, art or any of the creative industries, you want to feel and experience the colors of India. I got the chance to do that and it was quite incredible.
It was nice surprise to get an invite for a special event for this Netflix show Beef and then to see your name on it. Why did you say yes to coming here today?
I said yes because it made sense and because of the subject matter. I think I also agreed to do it as part of my healing. My announcement to retire is still very, very new, very recent, and I’m still going through the healing process. I’m going through all these kind of different stages of grief, honestly. The stage I’m in now is uncertainty. I went through sadness, I went through guilt. I have a big business and I employ a lot of people. I felt really guilty about making this rash decision and wondering how that would affect them. Now I’m in this healing process, and I’m making sure that I understand that the decision I made is that I wanted to put myself first. All of that fit really well into the decision to come here, because it’s what I’m experiencing in real time.
I can understand that, it’s a lot to process and manage with how big of a career you have. You mentioned some of the themes that Beef touches on: healing, trauma, rage. Let’s go with a silly question first: Do you currently have beef with anyone?
(Laughs.) The internet would like to think that I do, but I don’t. I have no beef for nobody. No ill will, no negative anything with anybody at all.
I was thinking about you when I was driving her today, knowing I was going to speak with you, because this show opens with a road rage incident and I wasn’t sure if you drive?
I don’t drive.
No. I don’t drive for that reason. I’ve seen [road rage] while I’ve been riding in the back of cars and it just feels dangerous. I also don’t want to be susceptible to having that type of rage. I don’t know if I will or won’t, but just when I moved to L.A., no more driving for me.
So how long has it been since you’ve driven a car?
Almost a decade.
You’re not missing much, it can be a mess out there.
Didn’t think I was. (Laughs.) I get to be in the back of the car focusing on taking calls, answering emails, talking to my assistants, on conference calls or Zoom meetings. I never get caught up in traffic because I’m always preoccupied so much that I don’t even notice what’s going on.
I don’t know if you were able to see when you walked in, but outside on the lawn there are a lot of activities today to help the guests work out their rage or de-stress. There are many wellness avenues for you to choose right now, I’m curious how you de-stress or what you’re doing to manage your current situation?
I’m learning. Again, I’m on this voyage to learn and figure out who I really am and figure out what makes me happy and how to de-stress. Right now, the stress has subsided because I don’t have the work, you know, but it’s just more about managing anxiety than anything. I think that comes from knowing that I really made the right decision. But, again, it’s a process. I didn’t plan to retire and then wake up the next day and everything was perfect. I have to experience new feelings and emotions.
While you’re doing that, I’m sure you’re also probably juggling a lot of new opportunities. What’s the most interesting incoming call you received since making the announcement?
I got a couple calls from really, really well-known production companies to see if I had any interest in that space.
And the answer?
The answer is yes. You know what the thing is? I want to try everything. I want to take all the opportunities and try to see what else I’m good at. I’m also entering this stage of my life with the [belief] that I’m not afraid to fail. I just want to try. If I’m good, I’m good. If I’m not, I’m not. At the end of the day, if nothing works out, I can always be a stylist again because we know I’m good at that. I have a skill set, but in this interim, I want to try as much as possible. I want to do as many things as possible.
Last question: Are we ever going to find out who the mystery guest was that you styled for the Vanity Fair Oscar party, the one who experienced a wardrobe malfunction getting out of the car?
Um, no. (Laughs.)
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