The 44-year-old spoke about his decision to step down as a celebrity stylist during Tuesday’s episode of Emily Ratajkowski’s podcast, High Low with Emrata. Earlier this month, Roach shocked fans when he announced his retirement on Instagram, only days after he styled a few stars at Vanity Fair’s annual Oscars party.
Speaking to Ratajkowski, the designer detailed how Zendaya, with whom he’s working for over a decade, reacted to the news.
“It was tough for her,” he said, as he recalled how he posted about his retirement on social media before talking to Zendaya. “She called and said, ‘Girl, I thought we’d make big decisions together,” he continued.
Roach added how she told him that she’d be there for him.
“She’s like, ‘Do you need me to send you on a vacation? Like, tell me what, tell me what you’re going through,’” he explained. “And I, you know, talk to her about, you know, just being unhappy and being unhappy for a really long time.”
Roach also said that he told Zendaya that he was still in the midst of grieving the loss of his nephew, who died at the age of three in November 2021, as reported by E! News. He went on to explain to Ratajkowski that when he and the actor had that “talk,” she emphasised that she was there to help him with “whatever” he needed.
However, Roach pointed out that the “internet” was being “cruel” about their relationship, as fans speculated that the pair had a falling out, after a clip of them at Paris Fashion Week went viral.
More specifically, the stylist discussed one inaccurate online rumour, where people “started to blame” Zendaya for his retirement, which he said “wasn’t fair to her”.
“And the things they were saying, of course, isn’t true,” he continued. “So that spilled over to my suffering, she started to suffer too. And I didn’t think I didn’t think that was fair. Because she has always protected me in this industry and vice versa.”
This isn’t the first time that Roach has made it clear that he and Zendaya are on good terms. During an interview with The Cut, he discussed the viral clip at the Louis Vuitton’s fashion show, where the Dune star sat front row, before Roach came up to her. She then pointed at a seat in the row behind her, seemingly indicating where he was sitting, which prompted Roach to shake his head.
Speaking to the publication, he clarified what really happened at the show, recalling that he and Zendaya “got stuck in traffic” before the event and that there was “a long walk” to get to their seats.
“So it was a lot of anxiety, because Zendaya is really respectful and she doesn’t like people to have to wait on her, and so it was just anxiety,” he said. “So the Vuitton team was like shuffling us as fast as possible to the seats.”
Roach also clarified that when Zendaya turned and pointed at the seat behind her, she wasn’t telling him to sit there. “It was her telling me like, ‘That’s Darnell’s seat,’ which is her assistant,” he continued. “I’m not gonna sit in Darnell’s seat. So then where does he go?”
Following his retirement announcement, Roach also said that he’d still be working with Zendaya. “So y’all really think I’m breaking up with Z….. we are forever!” he tweeted. “She’s my little sister and it’s real love, not the fake industry love.”
On 14 March, Roach took to Instagram to share that he’d be leaving his role as a celebrity stylist. “My Cup is empty. Thank you to everyone who’ve supported me and my career over the years. Every person that trusted me with their image, I’m so grateful for you all,” he wrote in the caption.
He added: “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!”
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