“We Love a Tall Girl:” Angel Reese Meets Law Roach
Angel Reese is her. A basketball phenom since high school, the 21-year-old baller blew up when she led the LSU Tigers to the national championship with a combo of brute-force athleticism and elite shit-talking. Since then, her life has been a blitz of red carpet appearances, music video cameos, and White House visits. But when the former stylist Law Roach called up Reese to talk about life as a newly minted icon, the Bayou Barbie was back at practice, preparing to defend her title. Doubt her at your own risk.
WEDNESDAY 5 PM AUG. 30, 2023 BATON ROUGE, LA
ANGEL REESE: Can you hear me? I’m losing connection.
LAW ROACH: Yes.
REESE: Sorry, I couldn’t hear you. I’m walking back and forth in the gym. We literally just got out of practice.
ROACH: Okay, I won’t keep you too long. I’m Law Roach, stylist. Well, former stylist. I retired. I couldn’t take it no more. But I’m so excited to talk to you because you and your team’s season became such a cultural moment. How do you feel about that? Was that something you expected to happen?
REESE: Oh, no. When I first came to LSU, I just transferred to get a fresh start. I went 17 hours away from home. I had no expectations of winning a national championship. I’m being completely honest. Going into our year, we didn’t believe that we were national championship worthy. But we won and everything came so fast. I literally just won a national championship four months ago and I’m back at practice. I still haven’t sat down and thought about everything I did this summer and how many people have reached out to congratulate me. Even the photo shoots I’ve done, the music video I did, I really haven’t full-circle-momented that. I’ve been enjoying every moment, but I’m happy to be back at school.
“If you don’t have no haters, you ain’t popping.”
ROACH: Oh, yeah. I’m a fan and our people are so proud. I think you became everybody’s little sister.
REESE: Thank you.
ROACH: We always take kinship in people when we have these successes, but there’s also a flip side of that. Negative people always got some shit to say. How are you developing a thick skin to weed out all the negative things that come with success?
REESE: I had to learn early on because I just turned 21. If you don’t have no haters, you ain’t popping.
REESE: And I learned to ignore by looking at all the people that are inspired by me. I don’t really pay attention to haters because they’re going to say what they want to say. I have a voice and I’m not going to stop using my voice for the people that know that I am making an impact. A lot of people come up to me in the mall when I’m out, just thanking me—older women, younger girls, younger boys. It’s knowing that I have a voice and I am speaking for people that don’t have the platform that I do.
ROACH: I love that. And we are here in the background supporting you. I heard that somebody gave you the nickname “the Bayou Barbie.” How do you feel about that?
REESE: Oh, I love the Bayou Barbie. I’m from Baltimore and I’ll always rep Baltimore. Coming to LSU was hard for me because I didn’t want to leave my family. I was at the University of Maryland, which is home for me. And having to leave my mom and my brother was really hard. But I love down south. I love LSU. They’ve supported me. And the Bayou Barbie just comes from Baton Rouge, the Bayou. And the Barbie part is because I always have my lashes, my nails, and my hair done. That’s just my thing. I like to be girly on the court, and that has helped make me who I am. I mean, I’m about my business on the court and I want to win, but when I’m off court, I’m a girly girl. I like to shop and get my nails done. I like to show both sides.
ROACH: And you do it so flawlessly. So, since we talking about being a Barbie and being girly girl, let’s talk about the most important thing to me, which is fashion. Are you a fashion girly?
REESE: I love fashion and always wanted to be a model. I’m six foot, three inches, so I could be a model. I love taking pictures. My mom would be like, “You taking a hundred pictures just to post three on Instagram?” That’s just what I do. My grandma taught me: Never let nobody mess up your mascara, your nails, your lashes. You can be cute and go out there and still ball. So I’m trying to change the stereotype that women in sports can’t be girly and have fashion off the court. I love high fashion, and thrifting is my thing too. And I love you. I love how you put people together, I love everything that you’ve done with Zendaya.
ROACH: Thank you so much. You said you’re somebody who can go to the thrift store, and that’s the way I started in fashion. I just didn’t have it. I started going to the thrift stores and I’m like, “This is literally a treasure chest.” You never know what you’re going to find when you go in there. That’s really the way I started my career. I always say if people can make an outfit from the thrift store, then they have real style.
ROACH: It’s a difference between access and having style. You are born with style. You gain access throughout your life, but to me, that’s where style comes from. Who are some of your favorite designers or brands?
REESE: Well, I can’t really shop everywhere because everything isn’t tall-girl friendly. I can’t just go in the mall and find things. So I go to wherever I can find shoes and find whatever fits together that I like and feel comfortable in. I work with a stylist right now because I am busy, and she’ll find cute outfits or things that I see on TikTok.
“You can be cute and go out there and still ball.”
ROACH: Just so you know, a couple brands that do 42s, but also do 43s, in case you really want to be comfortable: Givenchy, Balenciaga does 43s now, and Jimmy Choo. Just putting that out there.
REESE: Okay, period. Thank you.
ROACH: You’re welcome. Let’s talk about your look for the ESPYS, because I think that was our first time the public got to see you on a carpet super glammed-up in front of a big audience.
REESE: I came back from USA Basketball [FIBA Women’s AmeriCup] and we just won second place. I didn’t have any clothes because I was on the road in Mexico for 20 days. So I told my stylist, “Find me a couple dresses. I’ll figure it out when I get there. If it fits, if fits.” When I got there, I had a dress that I really, really wanted to wear. It was short and had feathers on it, but it did not fit because it was too short, and I was so upset. They were like, “You can wear it, but when you sit down and you walk onstage, people might be able to see underneath.” So the gold dress I decided to wear was Nadine Merabi. That look was very, very last-minute. I loved it. I wanted to come better than what I did, but it was cute for my first.
ROACH: Well, I think you’ll have plenty of opportunities. I know things like that happen in the background, because I’m a stylist, but the public never knows. You seemed confident and your body language was giving, “I’m that girl.” And now knowing the story, I think you pulled that off really well.
REESE: Thank you.
ROACH: I’m sure you answered this question a million times and you touched on it earlier, but I think the Interview readers would love to know. Like you said, you were thrusted into this and now you a role model to so many people. How does that make you feel and what do you want your legacy to be?
REESE: Honestly, I’m still young and sometimes it is overwhelming. I have so many people coming at me and I know everything I do or post is looked at, posted, reposted. Knowing that my life isn’t normal anymore, I have to be mindful of everything I do. I’ve never posted anything vulgar or anything that my mom wouldn’t approve of. [Laughs] But just knowing everything I do inspires other people—I’ve always been confident. I’ve always been outspoken. I’ve always been the tallest girl in the class, so I had to be confident in who I was. And I went to a high school that was 200 people. It’s an inner city where you don’t have a lot of opportunities. My graduation class was 50; a lot of people aren’t supposed to make it out of there. So now having a platform where I can speak my voice is something I’m really proud of. Hopefully a lot of girls or even grown women are inspired to do what I’m doing and know what they say matters, not just because they don’t have a voice. I listen to some of their stories when they talk to me. I always take pictures with everybody. I always try to be that big sister to a little girl.
ROACH: I love that. Me and Zendaya talk every day, and when you guys won, we were like, “Yeah!” Her mom is actually six feet four and she’s five feet ten. So every time she sees a tall girl walk in the room, especially a tall girl that has on heels, she’ll walk up to them like, “Tall girls in the room.” We love tall girls.
REESE: Yes, we love a tall girl.
ROACH: I’ll let you get back to your day. But thank you. It was a pleasure meeting. I can’t wait to meet you in person.
REESE: Yeah, I need to meet you.
ROACH: I’m going to send you a DM on Instagram, and if you’re going to something big and your stylist ever needs something, tell them to reach out.
REESE: Thank you so much.
ROACH: You’re welcome, baby. All right, have a good day.
REESE: I appreciate you.
Hair: Ashley Lynn Hall using Pattern Beauty at Atelier Management.
Makeup: David Velasquez using Fenty Beauty at Rare Creatives.
Nails: Rhayne Lodevico.
Photography Assistant: Benjamin Brown.
Fashion Assistant: Ashley Weiler.
Location: Dust Studios L.A.