Atlanta fashion pioneer celebrates 101st birthday

Ms. Annie Jewell Moore turned 101 on Sept. 20. (A.G. Rhodes)

An Atlanta woman celebrated a major milestone over the weekend: her 101st birthday.

Annie Jewell Moore was born in Florida on Sept. 20, 1919 and moved to Atlanta with her family at a young age.

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.

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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 Fashion Academy in New York and Paris' École Guerre Lavigna.

In 1963, Moore opened Ann Moore Couturiere in Detroit in 1963, which was the only Black-owned haute couture salon in the city.

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. 

Spelman alumni helped Moore celebrate a socially-distanced birthday. (A.G. Rhodes)

The COVID-19 pandemic prevented Moore from having a big celebration, but her fellow Spelman alumni came to her window at the A.G. Rhodes nursing home to share virtual hugs and celebrate with her.

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

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