Starring in the hotly anticipated Masters of the Air as well as fronting Brioni’s latest campaign alongside Jude Law, his famous father, Raff Law has been grafting and he doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. At just 25 years old, Raff has already frontmanned a band and modelled for top fashion labels, but at least for now, his sights are fully set on acting. The stylish multi-hyphenate shares with 5'ELEVEN'' his refreshing work ethic, the importance of avoiding comparisons and the connection between fashion and films.
Words by Charlotte O'Neill.
Photographed by Rachell Smith. Styled by Cassie Walker.
Grooming by Paul Donovan. Nails by Christie Huseyin at David Artists.
Photo Assistants by Kate Whelan and Ethan Humpries. Raff appears courtesy of Tess Management.
It’s a sunny Wednesday morning in North West London and Raff Law is waiting outside Loft Studios before the day begins, dressed in his self-proclaimed uniform of a pair of linen trousers and a free-flowing, short-sleeve shirt. He’s early for his cover shoot, having arrived well before his call time, perhaps a testament to his work ethic. After introductions are made, a coffee order is taken and a quick brief with photographer Rachell Smith takes place (in which Law says he is up for trying anything crazy on set). We settle into the leather couches in the studio, just across from the racks of clothing that Law will soon play dress up in. His golden skin radiates with an end-of-summer glow, evidence of how well London weather has treated us these past few months. “I’ve had a really nice summer,” says Law, who took August off to spend time with family and friends and reset. Now, he’s patiently waiting for his latest project, Masters of the Air to soon start drip-feeding out.
Law stars as Sgnt. Ken Lemmons in the upcoming American war drama mini-series for Apple TV. Masters of the Air tells the true story of the actions of the US Army’s elite Eighth Air Force, who fought the air war against Nazi Germany, using precision bombing and engaging in air-to-air fighter combat. “There’s some really beautiful artistic shots and there’s a combination of real tragedy, action, and romance,” shares Law. “It’s got everything in one.” This may not be the actor’s first feature film (Law starred in Twist in 2021, a take on the Dickens-favourite Oliver Twist), but it’s a breakout role nonetheless, working with an all-star cast including the likes of actors Austin Butler and Barry Keoghan.
Law reflects on his most memorable moment from filming, which was going to bootcamp with the cast after months of pandemic lockdowns. “We all bonded so much and learnt so much about the people we’re playing.” He displays a boyish charm when remembering other filming memories, like performing his own stunts as well as working with dialect coaches to perfect a 1940s Arkansas accent. “I got obsessed. There was a point where I wouldn’t break my accent even at home.” But it was vital for him to get it right. “Retelling such an important part of history was an amazing feeling. It felt like the job was bigger than me.”
Shoot prep begins and Law’s signature fistful of chunky rings, his most treasured accessories, are removed and set on the nearby table, replaced with a pampering hand mask. “For me, rings are like stories,” he reveals. “I’ve got a few sentimental ones that have been handed down through my family.” For newer pieces, he swears by jeweller Bleue Burnham and his new favourite vintage shop, Dunno. Curated. Fashion to him is all about capturing a feeling he’s after when he’s getting dressed in the morning, whether it’s just being comfy or emulating a certain movie or music icon. “It’s a way of feeling connected to someone,” he explains. “Everyone takes bits from everything they see in their life and that kind of creates their own fashion sense.” No stranger to a fashion brand, the young actor has already worked with the likes of Dolce & Gabbana, Missoma, Valentino, Mulberry and many more. He’s able to seamlessly switch between edgy to elegant in his personal style and has most recently landed a Brioni campaign alongside his father, marking the first time they’ve shared a stage. Will it be the last? Law doesn’t seem to think so. “We always talk about one day if the right thing comes along…” he trails off, “but nothing anytime soon.” Law learnt first hand that both tailoring and acting require dedication, precision, and practice. “Since I’ve been wearing Brioni suits, I’ve found it really hard to wear anything else,” he confesses with a smile, and reveals he favours a thin blue linen suit from the collection.
“Shall we get some Nirvana on or something? It’s a rock day,” declares Law, who’s nodding his head to the beats blaring from the speakers. Dressed head to toe in Alexander McQueen, the first look of the shoot, the bold leather trousers feel like they could have come straight from his own wardrobe. Periodically popping off set to queue up the next tracks, the thick Dublin accents of Fontaines D.C. soon fill the room, followed by Fat White Family, Warmduscher and the pummeling sounds of Iggy Pop and The Stooges. Law’s selected soundtrack cultivates the perfect environment for his movements and poses, be it shadowboxing in front of the camera, dancing to the beat or pulling an effortless pout. Law used to front punk-indie band Outer Stella Overdrive, “I’ve kind of put my guitar down for a long time, but recently I’m actually writing again,” he confesses. While more of a hobby now, his love for music is evident, singing the praises of bands like Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Wet Leg in between shots. “I have been focused on my acting and, career-wise, that’s where my head’s at right now,” explains Law. “Music’s always gonna be a really big part of me.”
“Music’s always gonna be a really big part of me.”
He’s handsome, he’s cool, he’s pierced and tattooed but most importantly, he speaks warmly and from the heart, candidly answering questions about shedding the comparisons to his father. “I think sometimes it’s easy to get caught up in comparisons and wanting to be in a certain place at a certain time of your life,” he explains. Is there pressure to prove himself? Yes, but more to himself rather than others. “I’ve seen that when I put in the work, I get that end goal, but I also think you can never be too content. It’s important to keep yourself on your toes.” The switch from the instant gratification of a frontman in a band to the slower pace of an acting project might be quite the adjustment for some, but for Law, it’s just a different way of working. “With acting there’s a lot of things which are out of your control. In a lot of ways, that’s tricky, but I think it’s also what you make it. You’ve got to keep yourself busy.” He’s been doing just that, taking method acting courses and dancing lessons to keep improving. He lists Marlon Brando, Paul Newman and James Dean amongst his biggest inspirations, with an honourable mention to Gary Oldman as well. “I love his choices of films [that] he’s done,” shares Law. ”And then if I’m honest,” he divulges, “I definitely look up to my dad as well. I’ve recently started looking up to my dad’s story and speaking to him about how he found his way.”
With a couple of acting projects up his sleeve, Law understands how important it is to stay switched on, stay sharpening his skills, and keep auditioning as much as he can. “The day you can decide what you do is going to be an amazing day,” says an eager Law. “I’m really just enjoying the process, learning and seeing what comes my way, trying to tackle everything that does.” Raff Law is on the ascent, and we have no doubt he’ll soon be collecting roles as he does rings, each with their own unique story to tell.
You can find this piece in the Fall Winter 2022 Issue 9: Purchase your copy here.