Grandfather takes China by storm - as women's fashion model
By Stefanie McIntyre
GUANGZHOU, China (Reuters) - 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?'"
It was at that time two weeks ago that a star was born.
Liu, known affectionately as "MaDiGaGa" - funny elderly - is now one of China's most recognized models.
Delighted with his new fame, Liu says he now sometimes looks at fashion program on television for ideas on how to pose but generally relies on Ting's team for direction. Continued...