Wednesday, September 22

Earlene Moore for the Statesman

I spent a few hours with Earlene Moore, a 90-year-old bra fitter at Saks Fifth Avenue, for part of Ricardo Gándara's Austin at Work series.  Moore got into the business in 1939 when the downtown stretch of Congress Avenue was full of department stores.  

She opened her own lingerie shop in 1971 and fit Texas' political and social elite for over 20 years.  I can only imagine the stories and laughter that came out of that shop when Ann Richards came in for a fitting.  Earlene closed her shop on Jefferson Square in 1995 and went into semi-retirement.  She was bored though, and when Saks offered her a job in 1997 she was back in business.  

These days she greets everyone that wanders into her realm.  Earlene can fit a woman on sight and has a vast understanding of manufacturers and brands.  She always gets a hug after the sale is complete and is an adopted grandmother to the younger sales girls on the Saks floor.  And just look at that hair...

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