spelman college, admissions surge

Oldest Spelman Atlanta Alumnus Celebrates Her 104th Birthday

The oldest living Historically Black College Spelman alumnus just celebrated her 104th birthday. Annie Jewell Moore of Atlanta was honored by FOX 5 News for her lifelong work in the fashion industry.

Moore, who just attended her class reunion, was born September 20, 1919. She was introduced to her longtime passion by the daughter of a family friend who showed her how to sew.

“I was taught how to sew by hand and make doll clothes,” she explained. “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 continued her love of design and fashion throughout college. Spelman acknowledged her as one of the first African Americans to continue studying at the Traphagen School of Fashion, the New York Fashion Academy, and Paris’ École Guerre Lavigna after graduating in 1943.

She was featured in prominent magazines like Vogue and Jet for her work on Broadway production costumes.

Moore opened her haute couture salon, Ann Moore Couturier, in Detroit in 1963. The salon sold fashionable daytime and evening wear. She returned to Atlanta and served as president of the Benefactors of Education. This nonprofit provides scholarships and financial assistance to students who are interested in fashion and the arts. Moore’s accomplishments were celebrated with her clothing collection in the Atlanta History Center’s Rountree Visual Vault. 

She’s driven by her unwavering creative mentality around fashion still to this day. She told WABE a piece of advice: that it’s OK be unique. 

“Well, I think that clothes should be more personalized and don’t become slaves to what’s the trend or the fashion is if it’s not you. Be in control of your own fashion.”

RELATED CONTENT: HBCU Grad From Atlanta Turns 107, Possibly the Oldest Woman in Georgia