Oldest living Spelman alumnus, fashion pioneer celebrates 104th birthday

ATLANTA – An Atlanta woman just celebrated a major milestone: her 104th birthday.

Annie Jewell Moore was born in Dayton Beach, Florida on Sept. 20, 1919, and moved to Atlanta with her family at the age of 3 after the death of her father.

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Growing up, Moore found her calling thanks to the daughter of a family friend, who showed off her sewing skills.

“I saw all of these gorgeous doll clothes she had made by hand, and I wanted to learn to sew like that. And, that was my earliest inspiration to get into fashion,” she told WABE in 2019,

Her love of design and fashion continued with her after she graduated from Spelman College in 1943. According to Spelman, Moore became one of the first African Americans to study at the Traphagen School of Fashion, the New York Fashion Academy, and Paris’ École Guerre Lavigna.

After leaving school, Moore worked on costumes for Broadway productions and had her work featured in Vogue and Jet.

(AG Rhodes)
In 1963, Moore opened Ann Moore Couturiere in Detroit in 1963, which was the only Black-owned haute couture salon in the city and featured daytime and evening wear.

After moving back to Atlanta, she founded and served as president at the Benefactors of Education, Inc., a nonprofit that provided scholarships and assistance to students interested in fashion and the arts.

Last year, the Atlanta History Center celebrated Moore with an exhibit of her clothing collection at their Rountree Visual Vault.

Moore is now the oldest living Spelman alumnus and attended her Class of 1943 reunion earlier this year.

This week, the residents and staff of A.G. Rhodes celebrated Moore with a party and cake.

From all of us here at FOX 5, happy birthday Ms. Moore!