Oldest Living Spelman College Alum and Fashion Trailblazer Celebrates 104th Birthday


by Veracity Savant

October 23, 2023

She’s lived a life!

Annie Jewell Moore was born in Daytona Beach, Florida, on September 20, 1919, Fox 5 Atlanta reports. After the death of her father, the family moved to Atlanta when she was just 3 years old. It was there that Moore first discovered her love of fashion after a family friend’s daughter showed Moore her love of sewing. 

“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,” Moore previously told reporters. 


Her love for fashion continued to grow. And after graduating from Spelman College in 1943, Moore made history as one of the first African Americans to study at the Traphagen School of Fashion, the New York Fashion Academy, and the École Guerre Lavigna in Paris. Her passion led her to Broadway, where Moore created costumes for various productions, her work featured in prominent magazines that include Vogue and Jet.

In 1963, she branched out on her own, opening the Ann Moore Couturiere in Detroit. It was the only Black-owned haute couture salon in the city. Moore’s shop featuring both daytime and evening wear. Eventually, she moved back to Atlanta, where she founded and served as president of the Benefactors of Education Inc. The nonprofit helped provide scholarships and other resources to underserved students looking to pursue a career in fashion and arts. 

Moore continued to give back to her community over the years. And the pioneer recently celebrated her 104th birthday alongside residents and staff at the A.G. Rhodes nursing home in Atlanta.

Last year, the centenarian was honored by the Atlanta History Center with an exhibit of her fashion collection at their Rountree Visual Vault. And earlier this year, Moore attended her 80-year class reunion, now making history as the oldest living Spelman alumnus.


Happy Birthday Ms. Moore!

Photo by Fox 5 Atlanta

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