Despite seeming sudden, Law Roach‘s decision to retire has been years in the making. While appearing on Tuesday’s episode of High Low with EmRata, the fashion icon opened up about his mental health, revealing to host Emily Ratajkowski that it ultimately led to his decision to leave the fashion industry.

“So, I lost my nephew two years ago, the day before Thanksgiving when he was 3,” he said on the podcast. “And he fell out of their apartment window. And I think that’s when a shift for me started to happen … priorities, family. Because I had literally only got to really see my nephew maybe four times in his three years because of work, and the guilt of that, you didn’t even get a chance, you didn’t get a chance to hold him enough. You didn’t get a chance to kiss him and tell him you love them enough. So that was really tough for me.”

Roach continued, explaining that the aftermath of his nephew’s passing was the first time he experienced depression. But he persevered until the weeks leading up to one of the greatest fashion moments of his career: Euphoria actress Hunter Schafer’s jaw-dropping fit at Vanity Fair’s Oscar after-party. Though it was a happy moment for the stylist, who shared in the episode that seeing “her throw her train back” was joyful, it was bittersweet.


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“Well, I’m glad to have the opportunity to really share that because at that moment, well, leading up to that, honestly, the last couple weeks, I realized that I was unhappy,” he said, explaining that his wake-up call happened after an assistant put “all these outfits together” for him to wear.

After he refused to do so, she said, “No, you have to; you have to get up every morning and put on an outfit and put on a scarf and the shoes that you have to carry your bags when you go to carry this Birkin. And, you know, she loves it.”

That’s when things clicked for the fashion icon.

“It’s not as fabulous as you think it is,” he told the assistant. “From the outside looking at our world, it’s like, it’s perfect, right? But it’s, it’s made to look perfect. That’s the point. Because this thing is perfection that we give, is our way of entertaining everybody who’s paying attention to us. But that’s what it is, is entertainment. And over this last maybe two or three weeks, I realized I’m like, f**k, I’m miserable.”

Roach realized he was experiencing “crippling anxiety” surrounding his work, which stopped him from living a full and balanced life.

“I’m not in a relationship; I have never been in a relationship. These last eight, nine years, my focus has only been my career blinders on like, so I lost a lot of friends. … My friends don’t live the same type of lifestyle,” he said, later adding that he’s been “unhappy for a long time. And I’ve been pretending to be perfect.”

Fans and the fashion world were shocked to hear about Roach’s retirement. Many speculated the reaction of his muse, Zendaya, wasn’t a positive one, but Roach quickly shut those rumors down and expounded on her response while chatting with EmRata.

“Of course, she supported me,” he said. “She’s like, ‘Do you need me to send you on a vacation? Like, tell me what you’re going through.'”

He also revealed he’s been open with the Emmy winner about his unhappiness.

“We had that talk. And she was like, ‘Whatever you need, whatever you need.’ But the internet is cruel. It’s really cruel. So people started to blame her for my retirement. And that wasn’t fair to her. And the things they were saying, of course, isn’t true. So that spilled over to my suffering; she started to suffer too. And I didn’t think that was fair. Because she has always protected me in this industry and vice versa,” Roach said.

Though his chapter in fashion is over for now, Roach still urges those passionate about the art form to chase after their dreams and not be afraid to “fake it ’til you make it.”

“That’s how me and saying I was a stylist and taking these meetings, I didn’t know anything. Zendaya always tells this story. She’s like, ‘Girl, when you first start working, you didn’t even have safety pins,’ like I didn’t know anything. I was green. I was literally faking it ’til I make it,” Roach told EmRata.

Law Roach’s High Low episode is available anywhere you listen to podcasts.