Liu Qianping was visiting his 24-year-old granddaughter in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou recently when the women’s clothes the aspiring fashion entrepreneur was packing into boxes caught his eye.
His visit came as the model that granddaughter Lu Ting and four friends had booked for a photo shoot to promote their online fashion business suddenly canceled, dealing a setback to their new venture.
But Liu, a 72-year-old former farmer visiting to escape the chilly winter of central Hunan province, stepped in to help.
“I walked into the room and saw them packing up some clothes and I thought they looked quite interesting and quite cute,” Liu told Reuters.
“So I tried on a jacket and they found it really funny, and I thought it was quite funny. So they asked if they could take pictures of me and post them on the Internet to sell the clothes. And I said, ‘why not?'”
Liu, known affectionately as “MaDiGaGa” – funny elderly – is now one of China’s most recognized models…
Liu, who traveled to Shanghai with his daughter for the first time last week after they were invited to appear on television, said he had been approached by other companies to model for them but had turned them down…
Ting has been criticized on the Internet and accused of using her grandfather, but he insists the experience has put a spring in his step and she says they are now closer than ever.
Cripes. He’s doing better than me. The only time I’ve been asked to be photographed was as a potential grandfatherly motorcycle gang-type in a prison movie.