While the whole world have their eyes fixed on 7 Chinese elderly men who lined up uniformly in black suits and red ties, another Chinese elderly man, Liu Xianping, has been posing for his granddaughter’s female fashion store on Tmall and has become an Internet sensation. (Tmall is China’s leading B2C online retailer separated from Taobao.)
Though most of the clothes Liu has been modeling for are more of the tiny, sweet and cute teen girl style with rosy shades, laces and ribbons, the 72-year-old totally pulled things off. His signature piece so far seems to be color tights and thigh stockings. Liu’s confidence in front of the camera and his long pair of skinny legs are the envy of many girls. Netizen 云眠Satsuki sighed: “He has such a good figure, especially those legs!”
The Tmall store Liu has been modeling for is Yuekou, a female fashion store started this May by 5 recent college graduates. Liu’s granddaughter Ms. Lv is one of the five. According to an interview with Ms. Lv, it all started when one day her grandpa Liu came to help with unpacking: “He picked up one piece and tried to give some advice on how to mix and match. We thought it was fun so we started shooting.” Who said elderly men in China didn’t have a sense of fashion? According to Ms. Lv, many of the looks in the pictures were her grandpa’s ideas – he surely knows how to make teen girls look cute and stylish.
What does hot grandpa think? “Why unacceptable (for someone like me to wear women’s clothes ? Modeling for the store is helping my granddaughter and I have nothing to lose. We were very happy on the day of the shooting. I’m very old and all that I care about is to be happy,” Liu told the journalist. And he was absolutely right. The store’s sales have increased 5 times since his pictures went viral and there was even a special “grandpa promotion style” currently featured at the store. Reactions from Chinese netizens have been overwhelmingly positive - they thought Liu was cool, open-minded, fun, extremely stylish and had the perfect camera face. Like netizen 东皇薄荷 commented: “He almost feels like Karl Lagerfeld!”
It is stories like this when one can get a sense of what a diversified society China has changed into in the past 40 years, especially for someone like Liu who has lived through one of the most rigid times in China’s history.