Saturday, May 25, 2024

Medic to model: retired China doctor becomes Paris fashion sensation

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A 70-year-old retired doctor from southwestern China has stunned mainland social media after she was invited to model on the catwalk at this year’s Paris Fashion Week.

Qin Huilan walked the runway for the brand Miu Miu at the beginning of March, along with international supermodels and celebrities including May Andersen, Gigi Hadid, and Liu Wen, Liuzhou Evening News reported.

She wore a long grey coat with silver embellishments, a pair of oversized gloves, a black scarf, a leather bag, and shoes with pointed toes.

Qin looked just like a professional model in the outfit, said online observers who praised her elegance and confidence.

Before retiring, Qin was a doctor in Liuzhou, Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region in southern China. She and her husband moved to Shanghai to live with their son a few years ago.

Qin Huilan prepares to strut her stuff alongside international supermodels on the catwalk in Paris. Photo: Instagram/@britishvogue

Qin became an online fashion influencer when she began showing what she wears in her daily life online with help and encouragement from her son.

Since 2022 she has acquired 33,000 followers on Xiaohongshu, China’s Instagram, and 16,000 fans on Instagram.

She has so far appeared in advertisements for fashion brands such as Moncler, and has been interviewed by magazines including Marie Claire and Vogue Hong Kong.

Qin said that she received a direct message and then an official invitation from Miu Miu several weeks ago.

“I prepared for the Paris trip in a short time. I used translation software to overcome the language barrier and demonstrated, through my actions, that age is not an issue for me,” said Qin, who is affectionately called Aunt Qin on social media.

She said she originally planned to go to Paris with her son, but he could not make it due to a delay in his visa. So Qin travelled alone.

It was the first time she had been to Europe and she confessed she felt “worried and at a loss at what to do”.

“But finally I decided to try it out of curiosity and a desire to meet the challenge,” Qin wrote on her social media account.

“I was a doctor caring for patients before. Who could imagine that I could be standing here on the catwalk in Paris at the age of 70?” she added.

Qin said she used to dress casually, sometimes wearing her son’s and her husband’s clothes. Her curiosity was aroused and her style changed after she began browsing the fashion magazines her son bought.

Online photos of Qin show she often chooses designs by Miu Miu and Prada.

The retired doctor treated her army of online fans to an array of photos from her landmark trip to the French capital. Photo: Xiaohongshu

“I’d like to encourage everyone who is confused at any stage of their life not to give up their dream!” Qin said.

Her debut in Paris has attracted a flood of compliments on mainland social media.

“She is too cool. Although there are traces left of the years on her face, what we are enthralled with is Auntie Qin’s self-confidence and calmness,” said one online observer.

“Looking at Auntie Qin’s firm steps, we have every reason to believe that there’s always hope for a person who has a dream. As long as you are willing to try, it’s never too late,” said another.

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