* The inside story of @WantShowAsYoung, the fashion IG account that amassed 500,000 followers in one month, as reported by the New York Times, CNN, BBC, Die Presse (Austria), El Mundo (Spain), and Weser-Kurier (Germany).
Reef Chang wanted to do something to brighten the lives of his grandparents, so he suggested they start modeling the leftover clothes forgotten by customers of their laundry service. Little did he know his photos of the octogenarian hipsters would go viral, amassing 500,000 followers in a single month!
For each of us, the word “home” evokes something different. For Reef Chang, home was the bustling Want Show Laundry run by his grandparents, where neighbors dropped by at all hours to enjoy tea, gossip, and a few rounds of Chinese chess. That’s why it was such a surprise when Reef returned in 2020 to find his grandparents sprawled over the counter napping, their once-thriving business a victim of pandemic restrictions.
Reef knew he had to do something to keep his grandparents active, so he pulled out the bags packed with clothes forgotten by past customers and told his grandparents, “Tomorrow, we start shooting!” Thus began @WantShowAsYoung, the mix-and-match fashion account that attracted half-a-million Instagram followers in a single month! Reef shoots the photos while his hipster grandparents Wan-Chi and Sho-E model retro outfits. Success beyond their wildest dreams helped to reinvigorate his octogenarian grandparents, while Reef is excited to be promoting second-hand fashion that is easy on the environment.
This personal account of overnight internet fame has plenty of take-aways for would-be influencers, but at its heart it is a story about family. Raised by his grandparents, Reef’s greatest success is finding a way to repay their love by enriching their golden years with a new life plan, adoring fans, and a healthy dose of creative fashion.