Annabelle Laroque knew from a very young age that color and design inspired her work. She grew up on the coast of South Carolina, where her creative spirit blossomed. Always finding a love for painting, sewing, cooking, and gardening, she had little idea at the time what her passion would unfold. After graduating from the University of South Carolina and starting a career with a job in corporate sales in 2005, she quickly learned that she needed to nurture her creative spirit and love for sewing. She quit her sales job and began making skirts for her friends and family with her vintage sewing machine.
Annabelle decided to name her line of clothing LaRoque and became successful almost instantaneously. In 2006, she rented a small space on Devine Street in Columbia where she could use the space as a workroom and retail store. LaRoque quickly went viral and has expanded to over 40 stores. To date, LaRouqe customizes fabrics and prints to reflect each collection as a whole. Annabelle aims to style and design for every modern, southern woman. She not only wants her clothing to be worn, but she also wants to evoke feeling throughout each piece she creates. Whether it’s a horse race, a cocktail party, a football game, or a wedding, LaRoque aims to dress a classic woman with a little whimsical touch throughout.
Annabelle’s love for design is evident in her stylish clothing. Her favorite article of clothing she has designed is always her most recent product. Her past favorite, and first love, that she will always consider an essential LaRoque piece, is the classic Eleanor Wrap Dress. A newer creation, LaRoque’s Peter Pan Collar Hayden Shift Dress, is her “…go to staple piece of the moment.” Always humbled by her successes, she says that her biggest accomplishment is “..having the ability to make a living off of her life. The shop, the fabric, and the collections are all a reflection of who I am. When I think about all the great designers there are and someone chooses LaRoque for their special day, the intrinsic reward is priceless.” Signing with Belk department store for 2014 also tops her list of accomplishments.
Reece & Blaire asked Annabelle who her style icon is and after contemplating, she told us, “That’s a hard question, but I would have to say Lilly Pulitzer. I say Lilly because her pieces evoke an emotion and a lifestyle. You feel a certain way in a Lilly Shop.” When we asked her which celebrity (passed or living) she would choose to have lunch with, she informed us that she was lucky enough to meet Tory Burch in a hotel lobby. The experience and serendipity of the moment was undoubtedly an absolute treat, but Annabelle agrees, that “…lunch would have been way better!”
Annabelle LaRoque’s southern charm is executed perfectly in her dress design and studio. When you walk in to LaRoque Studio, you automatically feel at home, which is exactly what Annabelle wants for her retail store. She hopes that over the years ,as she continues to expand her career, that “…she can design and provide garments that inspire and reflect the modern, southern woman.”
Reece & Blaire love LaRoque’s modern, southern style and would name it a number one pick for your next event. Reece even chose LaRoque as the designer of her wedding dress in 2011. We love that southern charm can be presented through LaRoque, as much as it can in our accents and manners. A special thanks to sweet Annabelle for your faith and support in us – we cannot thank you enough.