Law Roach Says He's 'Always Been a Maxxinista' as He Unveils 'Accessible' Designer Looks with T.J. Maxx Runway
The self-named image architect, stylist and new T.J. Maxx The Runway partner tells PEOPLE all the must-know details behind his latest project — and his post-retirement plans
For Law Roach, shopping at T.J. Maxx is "nostalgic" — and always a thrill.
Before the fashion visionary became celebrated Hollywood stylist and image architect (styling memorable red carpet looks for a slew of A-list celebrities), he explored his love for designer style by shopping at the beloved chain.
"I've always been a Maxxinista. I'm proud to say that because before my career blossomed, T.J. Maxx was where I would go to get a piece," Roach, 44, tells PEOPLE of his sentimental connection to the retailer.
Fast forward to today — only a couple of weeks after shocked the industry with the news of his retirement from celebrity styling — Roach is stepping into a new path with T.J. Maxx by his side.
"I've been searching for something to give me a little bit more fulfillment," he says on what motivated him to help "reintroduce the world" to T.J. Maxx. He also curated a fashion presentation of designer pieces from The Runway at T.J. Maxx, which houses designer pieces at an affordable value. "I'm really proud to do it, honestly."
While their collaboration was a predestined project of sorts ("The universe put two beautiful things in the same space at the perfect time," explains Roach), in reality, it's a clear reflection of his beginnings.
"One of my very first designer purchases was from T.J. Maxx. When I was a student in New York, me and my best friend went into [the store]. We saw these sweaters and they were at the right price. I still remember being proud to own a little piece of high fashion," the Chicago, Illinois native recalls. "T.J. Maxx has always been there for us."
After working with "the biggest stars and designers" in the business for a decade, he was also inspired to redirect his expertise, and make everyday shoppers his next clientele.
"My soul has really been pointing me [and my work] to be a little bit more accessible to the people," explains Roach, who's previously detailed how growing up in a "poor" financial upbringing bled into his own perception of fashion. "You work so hard and you save your money, and T.J. Maxx has always made it more accessible."
By that, Roach means "providing luxury at not-luxury prices," which is something he's contributing to now with his 2023 Spring curation of designer looks (available online and in stores).
He adds: "Someone who doesn't know about The Runway is going to hear me say it, and they're going to find something that they fall in love with. In some type of way I'm connected to that journey and it's just going to make me feel good."
Related:Law Roach's Best Styling Moments: From Zendaya to Céline Dion
Roach has the magical ability to transform his muses into full-on fashion icons (Zendaya, Kerry Washington, Megan Thee Stallion and Céline Dion are a few of the famous names in his book). But, he believes the real power lies in personal style.
"Don't shop trends – try on trends" is one of his golden rules to navigating designer looks on a budget. "Find something that really works for you. If it doesn't work for you, leave it [behind]."
And, of course, "it's all about confidence."
Earlier this month, Roach exemplified confidence, or more so courage, when he announced his new career move with a now-deleted Instagram post. In it, he wrote that "the politics, the lies and the false narratives" were enough for him to say goodbye to the world he was familiar with.
The cryptic message resulted in a host of dramatic presumptions, particularly involving his close friend and longtime collaborator Zendaya. Though, Roach has been "grateful" for the "outpouring" of positivity and support that've outweighed the negativity.
"Although I'm walking away from something that I'm known for, T.J. Maxx is still interested in working with me. That warms my heart," he tells PEOPLE. "It shows that I've brought a lot of joy to people's lives, and I want to keep doing that, just in a different way."
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Related:Law Roach Explains Why He's Retiring from Celebrity Styling After Shutting Down Rumored Feud with Zendaya
Roach's impressive portfolio did come with sacrifice. "I've been working so hard for so many years, and I got to the point where I said, 'Oh, I'll go on vacation next week,' or 'I'll go see my family next week.' Then, something else happens and next week just didn't come."
In his next stage in life, that is no more. "I get to enjoy my family (I actually had time to spend with my three nieces, they are literally the joy of my life) and get to learn [about] myself a little bit better," he says on his post-retirement plans.
That doesn't mean he's without a bucket list of things he still wants to do — and he's dreaming big.
"Maybe one day I'll be the actual face of T.J. Maxx, be in all the commercials and invite people to be Maxxinistas — you never know. I like working with people who instantly feel like a family."
Most of all, Roach is making his own rules and, in doing so, hopes to champion for others. "I am for the people, and I want people to look at my career and the things I've been able to do as the possibility that they can do it too."
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