Annie Jewell Moore, a resident of Atlanta, recently celebrated turning 104. The Spelman alumnus was honored with a cake and celebration earlier this week by the staff and residents of the A.G. Rhodes nursing home, where she is presently residing.
Moore, who is now the oldest living Spelman alumnus, attended her Class of 1943 reunion earlier this year. She was born in 1919 and relocated to Atlanta at the age of three after her father died. She quickly discovered her passion for sewing after meeting the daughter of a family friend who showed off her sewing skills.
Moore told WABE, “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.”
Even after graduating from Spelman College with a degree in economics in 1943, she maintained her passion for fashion. Spelman recognizes Moore as one of the first African Americans to study at the Traphagen School of Fashion, the New York Fashion Academy, and Paris’ École Guerre Lavigna, according to Fox 5.
Moore worked on Broadway show costumes after graduating from school, and Vogue and Jet published her creations. In 1963, she opened Ann Moore Couturiere in Detroit, which was the city’s sole black-owned haute couture salon and included day and evening attire.
After she returned to Atlanta, she set up and served as president of the Benefactors of Education, Inc., a foundation that provided scholarships and aid to students interested in fashion and the arts.
Last year, the Atlanta History Center honored Moore with an exhibit of her clothing collection at the Rountree Visual Vault. It featured one of Moore’s favorite designs, the UbiquiSix—a six-piece garment that could transition a woman from day to evening.