Photos: Taiwanese grandparents hit viral fame with fashion portraits

Chang Wan-ji, and his wife Hsu Sho-er, an octogenarian couple in Taiwan who run a laundry store have racked up nearly 600,000 followers on Instagram over the last month as attitude-filled fashion portraits of the duo in outfits assembled from clothes forgotten by customers went viral. The couple have since relooked into repurposing personal items of clothing they may have lying around unused and hope to use their new social media clout to promote the concept of environmental fashion.

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2020 02:59 PM IST 8 Photos
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Chang Wan-ji (R) and his wife Hsu Sho-er pose for photographs at their laundry store in Taichung, Taiwan in a photo released on August 1. 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 modelling abandoned clothes. (Reef Chang / AFP)

Chang Wan-ji (R) and his wife Hsu Sho-er pose for photographs at their laundry store in Taichung, Taiwan in a photo released on August 1. 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 modelling abandoned clothes. (Reef Chang / AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2020 02:59 PM IST
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Chang Wan-ji works inside the laundry store he has run for decades with his wife in Taichung on July 30. 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. They have even been featured in the Taiwanese edition of Vogue and Marie Claire. (Hsu Tsun-hsu / AFP)

Chang Wan-ji works inside the laundry store he has run for decades with his wife in Taichung on July 30. 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. They have even been featured in the Taiwanese edition of Vogue and Marie Claire. (Hsu Tsun-hsu / AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2020 02:59 PM IST
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Chang Wan-ji (R) and his wife Hsu Sho-er in their laundry store on July 30. Over the years, customers have either forgotten or failed to collect clothing that the couple never felt able to throw away. Chang told AFP he has lost count of how many garments have gone uncollected 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. (Hsu Tsun-hsu / AFP)

Chang Wan-ji (R) and his wife Hsu Sho-er in their laundry store on July 30. Over the years, customers have either forgotten or failed to collect clothing that the couple never felt able to throw away. Chang told AFP he has lost count of how many garments have gone uncollected 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. (Hsu Tsun-hsu / AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2020 02:59 PM IST
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Reef Chang, 31, helps his grandparents get ready for a photo shoot at their laundry store on July 30. The couple’s grandson 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.” (Hsu Tsun-hsu / AFP)

Reef Chang, 31, helps his grandparents get ready for a photo shoot at their laundry store on July 30. The couple’s grandson 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.” (Hsu Tsun-hsu / AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2020 02:59 PM IST
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The pair were naturals in front of the camera. “Modelling these clothes makes me feel 30 years younger,” beamed Chang, when AFP paid a visit to the store last 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 said. “I like to put on pretty clothes and go out to have some fun.” (Hsu Tsun-hsu / AFP)

The pair were naturals in front of the camera. “Modelling these clothes makes me feel 30 years younger,” beamed Chang, when AFP paid a visit to the store last 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 said. “I like to put on pretty clothes and go out to have some fun.” (Hsu Tsun-hsu / AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2020 02:59 PM IST
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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. (Reef Chang / AFP)

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. (Reef Chang / AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2020 02:59 PM IST
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The couple’s Instagram account -- @wantshowasyoung -- is managed by grandson Reef. 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. (Hsu Tsun-hsu / AFP)

The couple’s Instagram account -- @wantshowasyoung -- is managed by grandson Reef. 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. (Hsu Tsun-hsu / AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2020 02:59 PM IST
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Chang Wan-ji and his wife Hsu Sho-er pose for photographs at their laundry store on July 30. 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. The shop is named “Wan Sho” -- a combination of the middle character of their Chinese names. (Hsu Tsun-hsu / AFP)

Chang Wan-ji and his wife Hsu Sho-er pose for photographs at their laundry store on July 30. 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. The shop is named “Wan Sho” -- a combination of the middle character of their Chinese names. (Hsu Tsun-hsu / AFP)

UPDATED ON AUG 03, 2020 02:59 PM IST
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