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Wang Deshun Reebok
via Reebok

The new face of Reebok is ‘China’s hottest grandpa’

Octogenarian Wang Deshun shows off his athleticism in the brand’s new ‘Be More Human’ campaign

As ‘non-model’ models continue to crop up on catwalks and fashion covers, it seems the fashion industry is really starting to respond to our real want and need for them to diversify the aspirational images that they create for us to consume. Proving age is just a number here, sportswear giant Reebok has tapped an 81-year-old Chinese man, Wang Deshun, for their latest campaign: ‘Be More Human’.

This isn’t the first time the octogenarian has been involved in the fashion industry. After first making headlines walking shirtless during Beijing Fashion Week in 2015, Wang has since embraced this surprise career change. Dubbed ‘China’s hottest grandpa’ – or, more poetically in Mandarin, lao xianrou, meaning ‘old fresh meat’ translated into English – he shows no signs of slowing down, appearing in GQ to discuss his fitness regime and now becoming a new spokesperson for Reebok, joining a roster that also includes Jay-Z and Kendrick Lamar

A world away from those rappers, here, Wang teamed up with the brand specifically because of his athletic talents. “Only seriously getting into fitness at the age of 70, Wang’s example has helped reshape China’s views on aging and shown (that) you’re never too old to pursue your goals,” the brand said in a statement to WWD. Shot running and dragging a tire on the ground behind him, the film is a small insight into how the man has maintained this body that has caused such a stir worldwide.

The latest visual sees Wang also star alongside actors Yuan Shanshan and Wu Lei.

An actor before he took up modelling at the age of 79, Wang’s body has been his means of communicating his passions to the outside world – whether it be as a Living Sculpture interpretation of Rodin’s work or modelling for Ermenegildo Zegna in Milan. Here, he channels this into promoting the new Reebok range and the brand's planned fitness hubs for all over China. 

Watch the campaign film below.