Taiwanese grandparents become Instagram stars

TAICHUNG • 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 uncollected clothes.

Mr 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.

The couple run a laundry store in a small town near the central city of Taichung.

Grandson Reef Chang, 31, hit upon the idea of using the clothes, which customers have either forgotten or failed to collect, to alleviate the couple's boredom.

"My grandpa and grandma were staring blankly at the streets because business wasn't good," he told Agence France-Presse.

"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," said Mr Chang, when Agence France-Presse paid a visit to the store last week.

The couple's Instagram account - @wantshowasyoung - is managed by their grandson Reef, who 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.

Mr Chang Wan-ji and his wife Hsu Sho-er modelling uncollected clothes at their laundry store in a town near Taichung, Taiwan. Their grandson came up with the idea of using clothes that customers have either forgotten or failed to collect to alleviate the couple’s boredom. PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on August 02, 2020, with the headline 'Taiwanese grandparents become Instagram stars'. Print Edition | Subscribe