Chinatown’s Senior Citizens: The Original Hipsters
  • by Ethel Navales
  • April 22, 2014
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It’s no secret that fashion bloggers are most certainly on the rise these days. After all, who doesn’t want to see what’s trending in the fashion world?

While it’s nice to look at all these young bloggers pose in front of DSLR cameras, Valerie Luu understands that some of the best fashionistas are the ones you wouldn’t expect. Luu teamed up with photographer Andria Lo and translators Tricia Choi, Kat Wong, and Michelle Yeung to explore the streets of Chinatown. There, they uncovered some of the most underrated style experts ever: the senior citizens.

“Chinese seniors would get off and walk up Pacific, with purple puffy jackets, snapbacks, and sneakers you’d expect to see on a 20-year-old Missionite, not an 80-something Chinese woman,” Luu wrote. “Chinatown fashion combines urban utilitarianism with smart, unexpected combinations of prints and a use of color that just made me feel uplifted whenever I saw it. They’re fashionistas – worthy of any street-style blog.”

After interviewing the Chinatown locals, Luu discovered that many of these senior citizens have been fashion forward their whole life. Ask 82-year-old Man Ta why she wears jade shoes and she won’t say it’s because the color is popular right now. Jade has always been her favorite color. Ask 76-year-old Yu Tom why she wears floral print and she won’t say it’s to fit in. Bright colors remind her of her late husband. Clearly, this isn’t just for fashion — it’s a lifestyle. In fact many of the senior citizens admit that they wear snapbacks, beanies and puffy jackets simply to keep warm.

Check out some photos of these original hipsters and be sure to view the full photo essay here.

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