USC Graduate Designs One of a Kind Top Dollar Dresses - DatelineCarolina

USC Graduate Designs One of a Kind Top Dollar Dresses

Posted:
Annabelle LaRoque designs women's clothing at her store in Columbia. Annabelle LaRoque designs women's clothing at her store in Columbia.

By: Laura Coker

Posted: 9:45AM March 3, 2010

One former Gamecock has her own successful business in Columbia at 26 years old. She designs dresses that can be see anywhere from weddings to horse races, and even on the runways.

Annabelle Laroque decided to quit the pharmaceutical job she got after graduation to focus on her true passion: fashion design.

"I started making skirts to wear with jackets to work. Then friends and family started wanting the skirts," Annabelle says.

Annabelle opened her boutique, "La Roque," on Devine street in 2006. She sells women's clothing and accessories for both women and men.

The customers looking for that special dress first try on different dresses to chose the perfect style. The next step is choosing the fabric. Then Annabelle takes your measurements and order.

The dresses run about $300 and Annabelle has more than 150 orders for her biggest time of the year, Carolina Cup, even in this tough economy.

USC Student Katy Ryan has ordered her dress from La Roque for the past two years.

"I think they are worth it because even though they are expensive, they are a one-of-a-kind, and super cute," Katy says.

Annabelle says people are always really excited about Carolina Cup.

"The girls really like picking out the design and fabric for their dresses and making them just how they want," says Annabelle.

She has a facebook and MySpace account where people can check out her styles.

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