Over the last couple of years, older Instagram users have proven that being “Insta-famous” is possible at any age. From an adorable octogenarian who documents his daily life to a perfectly matched married couple, these figures are redefining what it means to be an influencer. The latest senior to step into the spotlight? 84-year-old Tetsuya, a retired chemistry teacher turned rising social media star.
Tetsuya’s Instagram profile features everything one has come to expect from a popular Instagrammer. In addition to a large number of followers, this includes ample photos showing off show-stopping outfits, from full-leather ensembles to meticulously layered looks. While such an avant-garde wardrobe may seem unusual for an 84-year-old, Tetsuya has had some help in the clothing department. In fact, the garments aren’t his at all—they belong to Naoya Kudo, his grandson.
Last month, Kudo traveled home to Akita Prefecture for a week-long holiday. While there, he decided to pass the time by playing dress-up with his grandpa, who—to Kudo’s delight—was happy to be a model. “He was surprisingly enthusiastic about it,” Kudo told Buzzfeed World. “He gave a lot of suggestions about where to shoot and other things.” Among these locations were local beaches, fields, and the middle school where Tetsuya once worked.
When Tetsuya’s family saw him all dolled up, they “went wild.” This positive response, however, was not limited to close relatives. In fact, in less than a month, Tetsuya has amassed over 67,000 followers on Instagram—an accomplishment Kudo credits not to his clothing, but to the way his grandpa makes each ensemble entirely his own. “It was quite a transformation to see my rural grandpa, who has no interest in fashion, in outfits he would never consider wearing on his own,” he says. “However, things like my grandpa’s long johns and muscle pain patches he forgot to remove added a nice personal touch.”
Clad in his grandson’s trendiest clothes, 84-year-old Tetsuya proves that fashion can be fun at any age.