China’s next “top” model?
By Tyrone Siu
It was hard to imagine that Liu Qianpina was related to the word “model” when I first met him. To me, the 72-year-old former farmer looked no different from those typical types of grandfathers you see sitting in the park every day, usually playing chess with a group of friends or dozing off on a bench. Except that Liu has a very cool name, MaDiGaGa, and is now in the spotlight among the modeling world.
One hand on his hip, lower legs crossed, with his head looking up in the air – posing in front of the camera was no difficulty for Liu. He did not need any instructions from the photographer before he changed his pose to present his figure. It was not hard to notice that, when compared to other models who pose for a living, Lui did not appear natural and smooth. But for a model who started styling at the age of 72, he’s made a very good start that most would envy.
It all began when the grandfather decided to pick up some of his granddaughter LV Ting’s clothes, and wore them for fun. The clothes, meant to be sold in an online fashion store, were supposed to be worn by a model who suddenly cancelled. But the way Liu wore them created a fresh and funny image, so LV Ting decided to use her grandfather’s pictures for promotion instead. The odd styling took internet users by surprise and Liu soon became one of the hottest topics in the digital world, attracting a five-fold increase in visits to the fashion website.
The red carpet was rolled out for Liu and he is now the famous model desired by fashion companies. Many media in China have tried to interview him.
From farmer to part-time model, the grandfather can be as insistent and stubborn as any other old man. During our interview, he openly disagreed with the choice of clothes chosen by his ‘boss’ and insisted on his own way of mix-and-match. It is not hard to see why – his granddaughter prefers tone-on-tone combinations, while Liu likes eye-catching and bright colors. The combination increases the color spectrum of a picture and boosts his self-confidence. It is not hard to see why his figure can raise eyebrows.
With his natural instinct and ability to capture the screen of a photographer, it seems Liu is on course to become the first – and oldest – Chinese supermodel.