Taiwan grandparents become Instagram stars modelling abandoned clothes


Taiwan’s trendiest couple nowadays are neither younger celebrities nor teen influencers — they’re an octogenarian duo who run a mom-and-pop laundry service and have become a web based sensation by modelling abandoned clothes.

Chang Wan-ji, 83, and his spouse Hsu Sho-er, 84, have racked up practically 6,00,000 followers on Instagram during the last month as their attitude-filled vogue portraits went viral.

They have even been featured within the Taiwanese version of Vogue and Marie Claire.

The couple have run a laundry for many years in a small city close to the central metropolis of Taichung.

Over the years, clients have both forgotten or failed to gather reams of clothes that the couple by no means felt in a position to throw away.

Grandson Reef Chang, 31, come across the thought of utilizing the clothes to alleviate the couple’s boredom.

“My grandpa and grandma were staring blankly at the streets because business wasn’t good,” he informed AFP. “I wanted to find something new they could enjoy doing.”

The pair had been naturals in entrance of the digicam.

“Modelling these clothes makes me feel 30 years younger,” beamed Chang, when AFP paid a go to to the shop earlier this week.

“Many people are telling me ‘You are famous now and you look younger’.”

Hsu felt so, too.

“I am old in age but my heart is not ageing,” she mentioned. “I like to put on pretty clothes and go out to have some fun.”

Worldwide fame

It was whereas modelling different folks’s clothes, Hsu got here to do not forget that she additionally had many forgotten outfits in her closet which she has since rediscovered.

“I even found some clothes I bought 30 years ago and I can still wear them. It’s a happy surprise,” she mentioned.

The couple’s Instagram account — @wantshowasyoung — is managed by grandson Reef.
 Chang presently solely makes use of the Line messaging app to make free telephone calls however Reef says his grandfather is eager to discover ways to make the proper Instagram publish.

The account first began going viral overseas and round 4,00,000 new followers have began following prior to now week alone after main worldwide media picked up on their success.

Reef mentioned he interprets and reads out fan mail pouring in from everywhere in the world.

“We’re very moved by the messages,” he informed AFP, “Many people are saying that ‘Wantshowasyoung’ is the first happy news they’ve seen in this dark year marred by the COVID-19 pandemic and problems in many countries,” he added.

The couple’s worldwide fame has additionally prompted a couple of forgetful clients to choose up previous clothes, whereas some native followers have began visiting their sleepy city to see the shop.

The store is known as “Wan Sho” — a mixture of the center character of their Chinese names.

Re-use clothes

The couple tied the knot in an organized marriage six many years in the past, a apply then frequent in Taiwan.

Chang mentioned he had thought of retiring however determined to remain on so long as he can because the laundry enterprise has become much less labour-intensive due to machines.

“Elderly people should keep moving and remain active or we will age faster… When I am working and being kept busy, I don’t have time to worry,” he mentioned.

Chang says he has misplaced depend of what number of clothes have gone uncollected in his store over the many years however he thinks there are no less than 400 gadgets in the meanwhile.

Many extra have been donated to charities and impoverished households through the years.

The couple hope to make use of their new social media clout to advertise the idea of “environmental fashion”.

“Instead of following ‘fast fashion’ and keep buying new clothes, we hope people can see that old and second-hand clothes can be fashionable if you arrange and combine them in new ways,” mentioned Reef Chang. “This would cause less damage to the earth and the environment.”

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