An 85-year-old farmer, who tended rice paddies all his life and never wore a suit, has become an unlikely style icon in China.
A series of photos of Ding Bingcai, nattily dressed and striking elegant poses, taken by his fashion photographer grandson recently went viral on Chinese social media.
He’s drawn comparisons to Nick Wooster, the fifty something New York street-style star.
Ding Guoliang, who prefers to be called Jesse, told CNN the photos were both a tribute to his grandpa and a way to raise awareness about caring for the elderly.
esse had the idea of profiling his grandpa last summer when Bingcai moved to the southeastern city of Xiamen where his grandson owns a photography studio.
“I wanted to show him what I do for a living,” said Jesse, who spoke to CNN while visiting Beijing with Bingcai.
“He had known I was a photographer, but thought I worked in an old-school photo studio.”
They spent three days shooting while wandering around the coastal city. In some of the photos, the two wore the same outfits and adopted the same posture in the same location.
“My grandpa had never worn a suit before,” Jesse said.
“Like everybody in his generation, he experienced tremendous hardship when he was young. I only wish he had had a better life like mine.”
Clad in a duffel coat and a fur hat, Bingcai, a father of five and grandfather of 10, spoke little but said he enjoyed wearing the classy outfits.