Law Roach Calls Out Designers Who Initially Refused to Dress Zendaya: 'If You Say No, It'll Be a No Forever'

The image architect reflects on how major fashion houses refused to dress the Emmy winner at the beginning of her career.

Law Roach is looking back on his journey with longtime collaborator Zendaya, and opening up about how the star's journey to fashion It Girl was a tumultuous one.

During an appearance on Wednesday's episode of The Cutting Room Floor podcast, the 45-year-old award winner recalled how many of the major fashion houses refused to dress the former Disney Channel star during the early days of her career. 

"I would write [to] the big five... and they would all say no. 'Try again next year. She's too green. She's not on our calendar,' and I still have the receipts," Roach, who has been styling the 27-year-old since she was 14, told host and designer Recho Omondi.

He specifically named the fashion houses of Chanel, Saint Laurent, Dior, Gucci, and Valentino, noting that even after the Spider-Man actress shot to superstardom and earned a coveted American Vogue cover in June 2017, she "still had never worn those designers." 

Zendaya and Law Roach - JC Olivera/GA/The Hollywood Reporter via Getty Images

Roach clarified that aside from editorial shoots, Zendaya hasn't worn looks by any of those labels and won't anytime soon, because their initial reluctance has not been forgotten.

"She still has never worn Dior on a carpet. She still has never worn Chanel on a carpet. She has still never worn Gucci on a carpet -- any press, any appearance, never. Never," he said. "The first time she wore Valentino in public is when she had a contract, so when I said, 'If you say no, it'll be a no forever,' that rang true for a long, long time."

Roach and Zendaya have become an undeniable force on red carpets. Much of their ability to turn heads comes from the image architect's practice of pulling incredible archival looks for his clients. But that practice was born out of necessity from his earlier days of dressing Zendaya. 

"We've been [pulling vintage] since Zendaya and I began working together, for 13 years now. At first, it came out of necessity because back when we started, nobody would lend her clothes," he told Vogue in February. "And I come from vintage -- I had a vintage store in Chicago -- so a lot of the things that she wore were things from my store or vintage pieces."

Zendaya and Law Roach at 2024 Met Gala - Getty Images

While Roach has also styled celebrities like Celine Dion and Megan Thee Stallion, his decade-plus partnership with Zendaya is much more familial. 

ET spoke to Roach in New York City nearly 24 hours after he styled Zendaya -- not once, not twice, but three times -- for the 2024 Met Gala, during which he walked down memory lane a bit recalling how they fortified the relationship everyone sees between them today.

"So, we made a pinky promise together when I met her when she was 13 that we would, I would do everything to support and to help her grow, and as she grew she would take me with her and that's exactly what she did," Roach shared with ET. "She kept her promise and I kept my promise to her, and we grew up together."

"She's my annoying little sister sometimes, and I think I'm her annoying big brother sometimes," he quipped. "And you know, it just feels good. Like you said, loyalty in this industry isn't ... you don't see that that often. But it really is just family at this point."