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China's Latest Fashion Sensation is 72-Year-Old Granddad
Liu Qianping is a retired farmer from China's Hunan province. But after jokingly modeling a range of ladies' wear, the 72-year-old has become an online sensation.
"I never dreamed all this. I used to be a farmer, but now, after coming to the big city, I have become famous," Liu told NBC News.
Daily sales for the outlet he models for, Yecoo Fashion Store, have jumped from an average $160-a-day in May to more than $1,100. Altogether, Yecoo's site has recorded 250,000 visits. China's Twitter-like social networking site Weibo has recorded more than 9.6 million searches for "granddad," how Liu is now known by millions.
It all started with Lv Ting, Liu's granddaughter. Armed with lots of enthusiasm but no experience, the 24-year-old and four friends set-up Yecoo out of a tiny apartment in Guangzhou, the capital of the booming southern province of Guangdong, in May.
Lv borrowed 160,000 Renminbi ($25,000) from her brother as security deposit to register her store on Taobao, China's leading online shopping site.
At first her sister-in-law modeled the clothes -- models are expensive in Guangzhou - and Lv served as photographer. However, in the first five months, with only several items sold per day, they could barely make ends meet.