For the coolest style, look no farther than your local Chinatown.
On their Instagram account Chinatown Pretty, Valerie Luu and Andria Lo showcase the bold looks of seniors in Chinatowns across the U.S. (but mostly in their hometown of San Francisco). Oftentimes, the seniors are just on their way to the grocery store, but that doesn’t stop them from dressing to the nines.
Then there’s Angie No Good, a colorful character Luu and Lo discovered posted up on Grant Street in San Francisco. His black cap is covered with enamel pins from his travels around the world.
Luu, who started the blog with Lo in 2014, told HuffPost that Buck and Angie are perfect examples of the effortlessly cool characters they see in Chinatown.
“There’s a certain je ne sais quoi in Chinatown seniors’ style,” she said. “It often involves outfits that play with bold colors, patterns and handmade or customized clothing and accessories. Pieces that shouldn’t really work together, that clash or are from different eras, end up having their own unique harmony.”
Luu, a second-generation Asian-American, said the storytelling element ― many of the seniors they’ve profiled talk about the hardships they faced when they immigrating to the United States ― is just as important as the fashion.
“We hope our project will create a better understanding and connection to Chinatown seniors ― their immigration story, values and, of course, their style,” she said. “At the very least, we hope our project makes people smile.”
And given the recent surge of anti-Asian hate crimes targeting the elderly, it’s especially heartening now to see the residents in moments of joy.
The project has certainly made the seniors featured on the page smile. Polkadot, a woman with a wardrobe to match her nickname, told Luu she could get used to being internet famous.
“Polkadot likes to joke that Chinatown Pretty has given her a seventh career as model,” Luu told us. “But seriously, someone should hire her; she’s total model material and makes her own five-piece leopard-print outfits to boot.”