Taiwanese grandparents Chang-Wan-Ji, 83, and Hsu Sho-er, 84, gave the world exactly what it never knew it needed — octogenarian streetwear influencers.
By Hanna McNeila.
As 2020 begins to wind down and Christmas inches closer, people around America begin to look back at the year that was and think about the things for which they are grateful. Although, in a year like 2020, this can be a difficult task, at the top of my list is the Taiwanese grandparents that look better in a bucket hat than most of us could ever hope to.
Chang-Wan-Ji, 83, and his wife Hsu Sho-er, 84, have dedicated the past 70 years of their professional lives to their shared business Wanshow’s Laundry, in Taichung, Taiwan. In June 2020, in the midst of some of the strictest worldwide lockdowns, the laundromat owners gave the world exactly what it never knew it needed — octogenarian streetwear influencers.
The couple became instant internet sensations after their 31-year-old grandson Reef Chang created the Instagram account @wantshowasyoung which features photographs of the pair styled in eccentric outfits. After the pandemic hit, and business at Wanshow’s laundry slowed down, Reef tried to cure his grandparent’s boredom by styling them in some of the pieces from the pile of clothes left behind by past customers.
Reef, who clearly has an eye for fashion, curated shots of his grandparents posing alongside washing machines and laundry lines, wearing vintage looks with clothes that have been forgotten in the shop for up to 30 years. The couple can be seen donning oversized blazers, cross body bags, berets, beanies, plaid skirts, and pinstriped pants. The account has now amassed 658,000 followers on Instagram and continues to put a smile on the faces of fashion fanatics around the world.
Not only does @wantshowasyoung give us the pick-me-up we’ve been craving, but it also highlights the importance of sustainable fashion. In an interview with The Guardian, Reef said: “Instead of following fast fashion and buying new clothes, we hope people can see that old and second-hand clothes can be fashionable if you arrange and combine them in new ways. This would cause less damage to the earth and environment.”