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Taiwan grandparents model abandoned clothes, become Instagram stars

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TAICHUNG, Taiwan: 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.

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.

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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.

The pair are naturals in front of the camera. (AFP/HSU Tsun-hsu)

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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."

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 earlier this week.

"Many people are telling me 'You are famous now and you look younger'."

Hsu felt so, too.

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"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."

WORLDWIDE FAME

It was while modelling other people's garments, Hsu came to remember that she also 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 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.

Grandson Reef Chang, 31, hit upon the idea of using the clothes to alleviate the couple's boredom. (AFP/HSU Tsun-hsu)

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.

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

REUSE CLOTHES

The couple tied the knot in an arranged marriage six decades ago, a praRead More – Source