Wang Deshun is 80 years old. He became a runway model at the age of 79. He is now in high demand.
Wang Deshun shot to fame following a 30-second, bare-chested runway appearance during China Fashion Week in 2015. It was the first time he had ever walked the runway. In China he became an overnight sensation for his well-toned body and his flowing white beard, and was nicknamed ‘China’s Hottest Grandpa.’
Wang Deshun is an actor, born in northeastern China in Shenyang in 1936. He began working in pantomime, before working in martial arts films. He acted as the Jade Emporer in ‘Forbidden Kingdom’ in 2008 with Jackie Chan and Jet Li. He started going to the gym when he was 50 years old to keep his body in shape for his acting career. At 59 he created a performance called ‘living sculpture.’ He began riding horses at 65 and motor cycles at 78.
Composer QQ Wang had a picture of Wang Deshun on his mobile phone. One of China’s top fashion designers, Hu Sheguang, saw the picture and asked about him. QQ Wang said it was his father. QQ Wang introduced Hu Sheguang to his father, who agreed to be in the catwalk for China Fashion Week 2015.
Wang Deshun told CNN in November 2016 that he was used to attention, but was surprised by the extent of his fame since the China Fashion Week last year.
‘Every day, for thirty years now, I have never stopped training,’ he said. And he almost never misses his rigorous daily swimming routine. ‘Age is never an obstacle for me … As long as you dare to do things you have never done before, you are still young at heart.’
He is already booked to walk the runway at the Milan Fashion Week in 2017.
In China most people retire between 50-60 years. Wang said ‘China is ageing. ‘How do we live our lives as we get older? However you want.’
Photographs: CNN online