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Waco fashion designer provides luxury prom experience for low income high school students

Roxana Robles poses with students from University High School before sending them off to prom.
Taylor Simon
Roxana Robles poses with students from University High School before sending them off to prom.

Roxana Robles has been making clothes since she was a six-year-old growing up in Monterrey, Mexico. Now, she's using her talents to change the lives of high school girls in Waco.

It’s 3 am in Waco, Texas and along Austin Avenue one house hums with activity.

Sewing machines and racks filled with dresses of various styles and sizes line the walls and the smell of hairspray and perfume permeates the air, offering a glimpse into the mission of Roxanna Robles, a Monterrey native turned Waco fashion designer.

Roxana Robles: “I started sewing maybe when I was like four or five. By the age of six, I already made my own shorts and tops and dresses. I went to college, I have my bachelors in fashion design and I have my masters in tailoring. So I’ve been doing this all my life.”

Robles moved to Waco 25 years ago, and was quick to put her fashion skills to use.

She’s served the community as a tailor for years, but it wasn’t until her daughter transferred to University High School and expressed concern for her fellow classmates' ability to pay for prom dresses, that is when Robles decided to dedicate her skills to helping young girls in need.

Roxana Robles: “She was telling me that there was a lot of need in the school, and I told her, how can I help? And she said mommy I feel so sad that there’s girls that cannot go to prom because they cannot afford a dress. And I was like, okay, I mean I can help, I can do this.”

Robles quickly jumped into action, and together with her partner Claudia Fraga, they spearheaded Dream Couture, an organization aimed at providing prom dresses to those who may otherwise struggle to afford them.

Claudia Fraga: "My reaction is always the same. Whatever you need, just let me know I'm here.”

Roxana Robles: “Yes, always." 

The pair collect gently used dresses to tailor and redesign based on the girl's style. Sometimes this means turning a size 12 dress into a size 4, or completely reassembling a dress to create brand something new.

Claudia Fraga: “It’s beautiful, I mean it’s worth it when you see them smiling and happy and laughing.”

Roxana Robles: “Hugging you.” 

Claudia Fraga: “Yes.”

Roxana Robles: “And they say thank you so much, and it’s just really beautiful. And we cry.”

The pair can’t do it alone, though. Multiple local businesses have stepped up to offer their time and services for free, providing hair stylists, makeup artists, decorations, photographs, corsages, breakfast and dinner for the girls.

Claudia Fraga: “What’s beautiful is that people offer.”

This year Robles and her crew were able to give 32 girls a dream prom experience. Next year, they hope to double the number and become an official nonprofit.

Claudia Fraga: “We hope to be a nonprofit and continue to help more girls, more schools.”

They are also calling on the Waco community for support in preparation for next year's prom season, hoping to gather more dresses in more sizes.

Claudia Fraga: “Definitely need more large, extra large dresses. We need that option to be bigger, this year we only had one rack. Even big and tall, we hardly have any dresses like that. So if you have a prom dress that you’re not using, it’s collecting dust, we’re taking donations. You can drop them off at 360, 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday.”

To see if you or a family member qualify for the Dream Couture prom program, you can visit

Dream Couture girls: “Dream Couture!”