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Elderly Taiwanese Couple Who Model People’s Forgotten Laundry Become Surprise Hit

by : Cameron Frew on : 25 Jul 2020 15:35
Elderly Taiwanese Couple Who Model People's Forgotten Laundry Become Surprise HitJam Press

An elderly Taiwanese couple that have been doing their local community’s laundry for 70 years decided to model abandoned clothes online, and have become an Instagram phenomenon. 

Hsu Hsiu-e, 84, and her husband Chang Wan-ji, 83, are the humble owners of Wansho Laundry, a small laundrette in the quiet Houli District of Taichung City. They wed back in 1959 and have two sons, two daughters, and six grandchildren. Wan-ji began dry cleaning at the age of 14 to help his family.

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They’ve amassed hundreds of pieces of clothing left by customers over the years. While they’ve donated much of it to charities – especially in the wake of natural disasters – they’re still left with mountains of garments. So, the couple’s grandson hatched a brilliant plan.

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100,000 Followers!!!! 100k❤️ 沒想到在50,000 Followers感謝過後的下一張就是100,000Followers的感謝!真的很感謝大家的喜歡,萬吉👴🏼和秀娥👵🏼都還沒反應過來什麼叫做10萬人訂他們的「報紙」,更不是很懂什麼叫做「爆紅」!秀娥只有發現出門去商店時有人叫出他們的名字,但是秀娥對他說「我不認識你,你怎麼知道我的?!」 更不用説當他們聽到裡面超過50,000位以上的訂戶還是來自外國的驚訝!弄不懂到底為什麼會被外國的朋友看到!我跟他們說「現在你們就想像成,你在世界上多了很多喜歡你們的孫子和孫女好了!」 也要跟大家說聲抱歉,有好多好多的訊息和留言,我(孫子)很努力的想每一則都好好看過,或許我沒有辦法每一則都完整的回覆,也可能拖了一陣時間,但真的很希望大家知道我的感謝,因為如果沒有大家的喜歡,萬吉和秀娥也不會在這兩個禮拜完全的展現出他們的開朗! 100K Followers!!!!❤️ Never thought that, what comes right after our 50k post would be our 100k post to show you how thankful I am. I really want to show my gratitude to everyone who likes them! Wan-Ji & Sho-Er haven't entirely understood the idea of “100K people are subscribing to their newspaper”, not to mention what’s the idea of “go viral” is. Sho-Er was a little surprised but also very confused. When she went for grocery shopping, people on the street recognized her and called her name. She said, “ I don’t know you, why you know my name?” They don’t know how is this even possible, over 50,000 followers are from other countries! I told them “Just try to imagine it this way, you’ve got many grandsons and granddaughters who also love you all over the world! “ Also, I would like to apologize, cause there have been many people sending their love by comments or messages, but I can’t reply them all. I really hope I can reply everyone of you. Just want to let everyone know that because of your love, they have been so energetic and happy in the past two weeks!! #萬秀洗衣店 #萬秀的洗衣店 #wantshowasyoung #grandparents – – – _ #mixandmatch #clothes #ootd #wiw #instafashion #style #fashion #couple #夫婦 #80代 #grandma #grandpa #femmefuture #classyvision #vintage #古着 #コーディネート #love #laundry #outfits

A post shared by 萬秀的洗衣店|WANT SHOW as young (@wantshowasyoung) on

Reef Chang, 31, convinced them to wear the clothes and model them on Instagram. Business was slow amid the current pandemic, even with Taiwan’s stringent measures – the country has only reported 458 cases, with seven deaths.

Reef told BBC News: ‘Their business is not always busy. They would doze off in the shop and their spirits weren’t high. So I thought since our family has these clothes, I can remind people to pick up their clothes, and remind my grandparents their life can still be great even in old age.’

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一樣的衣服換一件裙子、一樣的褲子換一件衣服,再加上秀娥一個新的態度,就成了不同的萬吉👴🏼和秀娥👵🏼 萬吉很謝謝大家關心!藏起來的右手努力康復中! 👴🏼萬吉(身長160) 襯衫:至少6年未取花襯衫 內衣:萬吉日常白內衣 褲子:萬吉私服工作短褲 👵🏼秀娥(身長155) 上衣:8年未取紀念T(已找到新主人) 領巾:再度由被遺棄的手帕擔綱 裙子:再度由秀娥30年私服擔綱 💡溫馨提醒|洗衣服請記得拿、認同請分享❤️ These old clothes have been abandoned by customers at the laundry for years. Owners of the laundry store, Wanji and Sho-Er who are over 80 years old. Grandson just can't bear to see them overwhelmed with bore everyday. So, ask them to reinterpret fashion, hoping to let everyone know that age is not a barrier to have fun in fashion and even old clothings can transformed into trendy outfits! 💡A friendly reminder|Don’t forget to pick up your laundry. #萬秀洗衣店 #Wantshow #wantshowasyoung #grandparents – #mixandmatch #clothes #craftsman #しょくにん #ootd #wiw #instafashion #style #fashion #couple #夫婦 #80代 #budapest #grandma #grandpa #dappei @dappei_tw #juksyootd @mixfitmag_snap #cool_ootd #plainme_snap #plainme_life #femmefuture #culturecartel @nataliadornellas #classyvision #vintage #古着 #コーディネート

A post shared by 萬秀的洗衣店|WANT SHOW as young (@wantshowasyoung) on

Their WantShowAsYoung account was born, with Reef stepping in as their stylist for the photos, also getting them to pose as if they were appearing in a magazine. ‘Dressed like that, I feel 30 years younger,’ Wan-ji said. Dressed in a plaid skirt, a hat and leftover blouse, Hsiu-e also said: ‘I like the way I look in that outfit.’

Reef said: 

They didn’t understand at first. They also don’t understand fashion trends, but when they were young they were very fashionable. They thought why would people of this generation like clothes from their generation.

I feel when I was young, they gave all their time for me. Now that they’re so old, I don’t know how much more time I will have to spend time with them. They’re very happy now; they’ve never been recognised like this.

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Their account now has more than 232,000 followers and counting, despite only being active since June 27. Hsiu-e told The New York Times: ‘My grandson is very creative. His creativity has made us happy, and other people, too.’

Reef added: ‘I was really surprised. I had no idea so many foreigners would take interest in my grandparents.’

Wan-ji added that ‘in the past, clothes were very expensive… when I got married, it cost an ox-cart loaded with 20 bags of rice to pay for my suit. And back then clothes were so valuable that you could take them to the pawn shop if you needed money’.

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秀娥開心❤️(萬吉到底說了什麼?) 萬吉看秀娥穿這樣好像講起了什麼事,結果秀娥就突然笑了~這件看起來很少女的衣服不知道什麼原因也被主人遺忘,但阿嬤再度無違和的撐起…另外要說一下萬吉的眼鏡,一個83歲的老人家,以前都戴金框眼鏡,結果某一天他出門回來,自己去配了一副黑框… 👴🏼萬吉(身長160) 外搭:7年以上未取格紋壓扣襯衫 上衣:5年以上未取條紋亨利領襯衫 褲子:阿公私服工作短褲(但堅持工作褲也要熨燙過) 👵🏼秀娥(身長155) 洋裝:10年以上未取吊帶格紋洋裝 內搭:10年以上未取小碎花襯衫 💡溫馨提醒|洗衣服請記得拿、認同請分享❤️ These old clothes have been abandoned by customers at the laundry for years. Owners of the laundry store, Wanji and Sho-Er who are over 80 years old. Grandson just can't bear to see them overwhelmed with bore everyday. So, ask them to reinterpret fashion, hoping to let everyone know that age is not a barrier to have fun in fashion and even old clothings can transformed into trendy outfits! 💡A friendly reminder|Don’t forget to pick up your laundry. #萬秀洗衣店 #Wantshow #wantshowasyoung #grandparents #mixandmatch #clothes #craftsman #しょくにん #ootd #wiw #instafashion #style #fashion #couple #夫婦 #80代 #budapest #grandma #grandpa #dappei @dappei_tw #juksyootd @mixfitmag_snap @uniqlo_ootd #converse @converse #cool_ootd #plainme_snap #plainme_life #femmefuture #culturecartel @nataliadornellas #classyvision #vintage #古着

A post shared by 萬秀的洗衣店|WANT SHOW as young (@wantshowasyoung) on

However, clothes get left with them for any number of reasons, whether it’s people simply forgetting, moving out of the district, or others passing away. As for the modelling, ‘It’s better than sitting around watching TV or napping. I might be getting on in my years, but I don’t feel old,’ Wan-ji said.

Now, anytime Reef eats with them, he ‘can tell they’re elated’. However, throughout their Instagram, there’s plenty of reminders to do one thing: pick up your laundry.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Life, clothing, elderly, Fashion, Instagram, Now, Taiwan, Viral

Credits

Mansu’s laundry shop|WANT SHOW as young/Instagram and 2 others
  1. Mansu’s laundry shop|WANT SHOW as young/Instagram

    @wantshowasyoung

  2. BBC News

    Taiwanese laundry-modelling grandparents are surprise Instagram hit

  3. The New York Times

    He’s 83, She’s 84, and They Model Other People’s Forgotten Laundry