Quantcast
Connect with us

Taiwan grandparents become Instagram stars modeling abandoned clothes

Published

on

Chang Wan-ji, 83, and his wife Hsu Sho-er, 84, have racked up nearly 600,000 followers on Instagram over the last month as their attitude-filled fashion portraits went viral HSU Tsun-hsu AFP

Taiwan’s trendiest couple these days are neither young celebrities nor teen influencers — they are an octogenarian duo who run a mom-and-pop laundry service and have become an online sensation by modeling abandoned clothes.

Chang Wan-ji, 83, and his wife Hsu Sho-er, 84, have racked up nearly 600,000 followers on Instagram over the last month as their attitude-filled fashion portraits went viral.

ADVERTISEMENT

They have even been featured in the Taiwanese edition of Vogue and Marie Claire.

The couple have run a laundry for decades in a small town near the central city of Taichung.

Over the years, customers have either forgotten or failed to collect reams of clothing that the couple never felt able to throw away.

Grandson Reef Chang, 31, hit upon the idea of using the clothes to alleviate the couple’s boredom.

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

ADVERTISEMENT

The pair were naturals in front of the camera.

“Modeling these clothes makes me feel 30 years younger,” beamed Chang, when AFP paid a visit to the store earlier this week.

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

ADVERTISEMENT

Hsu felt so, too.

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

– Worldwide fame –

It was while modeling other people’s garments, Hsu came to remember that she also had many forgotten outfits in her closet which she has since rediscovered.

ADVERTISEMENT

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

The couple’s Instagram account — @wantshowasyoung — is managed by grandson Reef.

Chang currently only uses the Line messaging app to make free phone calls but Reef says his grandfather is keen to learn how to make the perfect Instagram post.

ADVERTISEMENT

The account first started going viral abroad and around 400,000 new fans have started following in the past week alone after major international media picked up on their success.

Reef said he translates and reads out fan mail pouring in from all over the world.

“We’re very moved by the messages,” he told 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 also prompted a few forgetful customers to pick up old clothes, while some local fans have started visiting their sleepy town to see the store.

ADVERTISEMENT

The shop is named “Wan Sho” — a combination of the middle character of their Chinese names.

– Re-use clothes –

The couple tied the knot in an arranged marriage six decades ago, a practice then common in Taiwan.

Chang said he had thought about retiring but decided to stay on as long as he can as the laundry business has become less labour-intensive thanks 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 said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Chang says he has lost count of how many garments have gone uncollected in his shop over the decades but he thinks there are at least 400 items at the moment.

Many more have been donated to charities and impoverished families over the years.

The couple hope to use their new social media clout to promote the concept 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,” said Reef Chang.

“This would cause less damage to the earth and the environment.”

ADVERTISEMENT

 


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

MSNBC’s Donny Deutsch compares Trump to Hitler: ‘Let’s just say it once and for all’

Published

on

MSNBC's Donny Deutsch compared President Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler -- and urged the president's Jewish supporters to "wake up."

The president's rally Tuesday night in Pennsylvania set off alarm bells on the "Morning Joe" set, and Deutsch came out and said what the other panelists were hinting at.

Continue Reading

2020 Election

They ‘just want to watch the world burn’: Psychological analysis reveals 14 key traits that explain Trump supporters

Published

on

As he himself said even before he won the presidential election in 2016, “I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Unfortunately for the American people, this wild-sounding claim appears to be truer than not, at least for the majority of his supporters, and that is something that should disturb us. It should also motivate us to explore the science underlying such peculiar human behavior, so we can learn from it, and potentially inoculate against it.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

Chaos at Trump White House as impending staff shake-ups revealed ahead of election

Published

on

The Trump administration is wreaking havoc again with its latest shake-up within government agencies as the White House says it’s preparing for President Donald Trump to be re-elected.

White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows sent out an email to administration officials on Monday. According to Axios, Meadows explained the impending changes.

“To prepare for the upcoming transition, I’ve asked John McEntee to look at replacing the White House Liaisons (WHLs) at many of your agencies. John will be working with outgoing liaisons to explore other opportunities,” Meadows said. “As you know, WHLs are senior-level staff responsible for managing the political appointee portfolio. The WHLs serve as a contact for the White House within each agency, rather than as the agency’s contact back to the White House and therefore these selections are at the discretion of the White House.”

Continue Reading
 
 
Democracy is in peril. Invest in progressive news. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1. Go ad-free. LEARN MORE