China's grandad of fashion

Last updated 12:16 27/11/2012
Reuters

From farmer to fashion plate, this 72-year-old is getting hands on with his grand-daughter's online clothing boutique. Julie Noce reports.

grandad model
NEXT TOP MODEL: Liu Qianping in fashion action.

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From farmer to fashion plate, 72-year-old Liu Qianping is getting hands on with his grand-daughter's online clothing boutique.

Liu was visiting 24-year-old Lu Ting in China's Guangzhou when a model she'd booked for a photo shoot suddenly cancelled, throwing the whole thing into chaos.

But Liu was there 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 said.

"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?'"

And so, a star was born.

Liu, known affectionately as MaDiGaGa or funny old man,  is now one of China's most recognised models.

Delighted with his new fame, Liu said he now sometimes looks at fashion programmes on television for ideas on how to pose but generally relies on Ting's team for direction.

He does, however, have his own opinions on styling.

"He will tell us which items should be stronger and what should be improved," Ting said.

Liu, who travelled 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.

"I never dreamed of lucky things like these happening to me. Now, my name has spread to everywhere in the country," he said.

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