From Law Roach To Jeremy Scott, Why Are Designers And Stylists Suddenly Leaving Their Positions In The Fashion Industry?

Law Roach's sudden announcement of his retirement broke the internet last week. Unfortunately for the fashion world, he's not the only style icon who has made an exit in the past year.

By Nicole Dominique3 min read
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Law Roach – who's known for styling Zendaya and Ariana Grande – took to Instagram on March 14 to announce his retirement. "My Cup is empty….. thank you to everyone who’ve supported me and my career over the years," the stylist wrote in a now-deleted post. "Every person that trusted me with their image, I’m so grateful for you all. 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 faalse narratives finally got me! You win … I’m out. ❤️❤️❤️"

His news saddened fans on social media who admired Roach's iconic work over the past decade on the red carpet and at other events. Fortunately, Roach isn't done with fashion, and he's not parting ways with Zendaya either. He clarified, "What I'm retiring from is the celebrity styling part of it: the being in service and at service of other people. That's what I'm retiring from."

He continued, "I also work and live in a bubble, in which my clients are my priority, more so than my own health and happiness. And, in my mind, I was [retiring] just to relieve some pressure for myself. I said: 'You know what, I've done everything I wanted to do in this career. I've received all the awards, the accolades, I've changed people's lives…' And I just feel like I've had enough."

Roach's styling debut launched in 2009 by happenstance, thanks to Kanye West’s visit to his store, garnering attention from the paps and industry insiders from all over the world. The stylist has been working with celebrities for over a decade, so it makes sense why he would want something new – though he did say in his previous Instagram post the "politics, the lies, and false narratives" finally got to him.

Maybe the fashion industry has something going on behind-the-scenes we're not aware of – because Roach is not the only prolific individual to part ways with their long-term position. 

Designer Jeremy Scott Leaving Moschino After 10 Years 

Designer Jeremy Scott's bright aesthetics have clicked with some of Hollywood's biggest popstars, including Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, Cardi B, and Lizzo. Just one week after Roach revealed his plans to retire, Scott is now calling it quits with Aeffe-owned Italian brand Moschino after serving as their creative director for 10 years. “These past 10 years at Moschino have been a wonderful celebration of creativity and imagination. I am so proud of the legacy I am leaving behind,” Scott said on Instagram yesterday.

“I would like to thank Massimo Ferretti for the honor of leading this iconic house. I would also like to thank all my fans around the world who celebrated me, my collections, and my vision, for without you, none of this would be possible.”

Alessandro Michele Leaves Gucci

Alessandro Michele is an Italian fashion designer who served as the creative director for Gucci from 2015 to late November 2022. According to Women's Wear Daily's sources, existing "strong disagreements over the future of the brand caused a rift between Michele and president and chief executive Marco Bizzarri." Bizzari and François-Henri Pinault, CEO of Kering (who owns fashion houses Gucci and Balenciaga), urged Michele to "initiate a strong design shift." 

I find it interesting that headlines of Michele leaving Gucci came days after Balenciaga and Kering came under fire for their disturbing campaigns that seemingly sexualized young children.

Burberry Designer Riccardo Tisci Steps Down 

Riccardo Tisci, Burberry's chief creative officer, stepped down from his position after five years. Daniel Lee succeeded Tisci, who previously left his post at Bottega Veneta in 2021.

Tisci said, “Burberry is a very special place with a magical past and a very promising future. The chapter I was asked to write in its long story is one that I am incredibly proud of and one I have decided would culminate with my show on Monday. I thrived to continue a legacy of innovation, and consistently championed for creativity and diversity, in order to always keep Burberry moving forward. I want to thank my teams, past and present, and the army of collaborators and friends who helped me write a chapter that I hope will stay in Burberry’s future for years to come.”

Closing Thoughts

Besides designers and stylists, those in higher positions in well-known fashion brands are also leaving. In December 2022, Miuccia Prada and Patrizio Bertelli revealed that they were stepping down as co-CEOs of the Prada Group. Months before, Kasper Rørsted also announced he was leaving his post as CEO of Adidas. We're not sure exactly what's causing these exits to happen in a short time frame, besides the endings of possible tenures, but it will be interesting to see how these fashion houses will evolve in the next decade.

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