Homeless Man Becomes Chinese Internet Fashion Icon

Discussion in 'Trend Spotting' started by lucy92, Mar 5, 2010.

  1. lucy92

    lucy92 Mod Squad Team Leader

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    Handsome Chinese vagrant draws fans of 'homeless chic'

    By Clifford Coonan in Beijing

    Identity of 'Brother Sharp' - dubbed China's coolest man - remains a mystery

    The photograph shows a starkly handsome Chinese man walking with a model's measured gait, and wearing a rag-tag but well co-ordinated overcoat on top of a leather jacket. His eyes peer into the middle distance, in what one fan described as "a deep and penetrating way", and he strides confidently forward.
    But this is no catwalk model. This is a homeless man in the city of Ningbo. And now a band of web followers are calling him the coolest man in China.
    His good looks and bohemian dress sense have won him thousands of online fans after a resident of Ningbo posted a picture online. Web users in China have called him the "Beggar Prince", the "Handsome Vagabond", and, most often, "Brother Sharp".
    He is 5ft 8in, around 35 years old, and always has a cigarette between his fingers. He also appears to have a fondness for women's clothes, which has only served to fuel his status as a fashion icon. His good looks are reminiscent of popular Asian actors like Takeshi Kaneshiro or the Oscar- nominated Ken Watanabe.
    One particularly striking picture juxtaposes Brother Sharp's with a model showing the latest Dolce & Gabbana collection. "Look at him wrinkle his brow... nothing needs to be said... sexy...", ran one comment on the Tianyu site.
    Another wrote: "He doesn't really look like a beggar, more like a vagabond. The quality of this person's tops are all not bad, a down jacket, cotton jacket, even a leather jacket inside, and though they're a bit dirty, they're all in good condition, not the kind that beggars find from the trash."
    The suggestion that homelessness can be cool chimes with a fashion trend that many have considered tasteless: in January, the designer Vivienne Westwood presented a "homeless chic" show in which models were styled to look like rough sleepers, a move prefigured by Ben Stiller's satirical film Zoolander, which featured a similar show called Derelicte. Two years ago the supermodel Erin Wasson revealed the homeless were her fashion inspiration, saying: "When I... see the homeless, like, I'm like, 'Oh my God, they're pulling out, like, crazy looks and they, like, pull **** out of like garbage cans.'"
    But anyone with similar designs on Brother Sharp's sartorial tips is out of luck. His identity remains a secret, and social workers in Ningbo say they want to keep it that way. "Homeless people are vulnerable. It is incorrect to use them for entertainment purposes," said one worker at a homeless centre in Ningbo. Brother Sharp is said to appear mentally disturbed when approached on the street.
    In China, begging is technically illegal, as the Communist Party-run state provides all a citizen could need. In reality, the rapid development of the Chinese economy in the last 30 years has marginalised many.
    The rumours surrounding Brother Sharp's true identity persist. Some say he is a university graduate who lost his mind after his girlfriend left him. Others have blogged about how they sought him out and tried to help him find work or to go back to his family, but that he appeared frightened and cried out without speaking.
    The local government in Ningbo said it had a policy of looking after the homeless, and that it would extend the same treatment to Mr Sharp.

    the independent
     

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  2. HeatherAnne

    HeatherAnne Well-Known Member

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    :doh: I am definitely one of those who find it tasteless.
     
  3. retailqueen

    retailqueen Active Member

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    hipters who have no idea about life.
    reminds me of what Erin Wasson said, damn at those cool homeless people :rolleyes:
     
  4. urd

    urd Active Member

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  5. xerq

    xerq !

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    :rofl: hipsters are so pathetic.
     
  6. MUXU

    MUXU New Member

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    to be honest, without reading the article and just look at the picture of him. i thought he could just be one of those street style people from tokyo who love this shaggy chic style with muted color palette and crazy layering. heck, even his hair is really stylish by asian standards. but after reading the article and the video, i think he is somewhat mentally disturbed and should get help for it after this whole 'style-icon' phase pass away. his fans should concern about his mental health if they love his style so much
     
  7. rollagasper

    rollagasper New Member

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    Oh wow, this is the most rediculous thing I've read in a while. I cannot see how he became a fashion icon. He just looks like a homeless man who has to layer clothes to keep warm. Why would anyone want to dress like him? And it's sad that once the media gets bored of him he will just be a nobody again.
     
  8. lucy92

    lucy92 Mod Squad Team Leader

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    i wonder if he's a trending subject on twitter for chinese people.
     
  9. silk skin paws

    silk skin paws doldrums

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    This is beyond sad. He's obviously not in his right mind.
     
  10. MulletProof

    MulletProof Well-Known Member

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    Well, this is kind of cruel.. but, I think tastelessness is all we can blame these people for.. they must be very young, judging by the comments.

    Trying to take a colder approach on this, I have seen homeless people with some brilliant layering, same for 3 year-old kids dressed in a rush to beat the weather, and then people over 60 that pile up all these clothes during winter, especially women that grew up in the 30s and never warmed up to the idea of wearing pants so you see them in winter with these skirts and tights and socks and 3 sweaters on, plus a coat and a printed blouse showing under and some funky hat and you know the woman's pieces hail from at least 3 decades.. I don't really feel that bad for liking that to be frank, as someone that feels very drawn to experimenting with material and color combination, I can't help to look twice on the street when I spot outfits that I love or things I never even thought how good they could look together.. I'm not sure I'd have the guts to photograph them, let alone putting them on the internet with some 'coolest guy in town' title.. I think circumstantial dressing needs more respect, and sensibility, it often talks loudly about the life the person leads, their vulnerabilities in front of modern society.. more so than any other person consciously trying to 'express' herself through clothing.. you can watch it, learn what you can get from it and keep going.. tagging, hyping, criticizing, making humor out of it.. that's for people that put themselves up for the challenge e.g. bloggers.. a public/virtual altar for them is as tasteless and stupid as taking a photograph of that man eating the leftovers of a crushed tomato can and saying he's got great taste cause that's a great brand.
    Hope that wasn't too confusing, contradictory. :ninja:
     
  11. @~PinkCouture~@

    @[email protected] Active Member

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    Homeless Chic

    I hope this is the right forum to post this in. If not, I apologize.

    I saw this article and thought it was interesting how homeless people are inspiring high fashion. Just b/c they are poor doesn't mean they can't be fashionable :wink:

    So tFSers, what are your thoughts on this??? :smile:

    "Brother Sharp" on the streets of Ningbo, China
    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Vivienne Westwood's "Homeless Chic" Collection (January 2010)
    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [​IMG] [​IMG]

    Article & Images from independent.co.uk
     
    #11 @[email protected], Mar 9, 2010
    Last edited by moderator Djovite: Mar 9, 2010
  12. Kimkhuu

    Kimkhuu New Member

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    Wow, glorifying poverty.

    How ignorant can those people be?

    This is really depressing to read! :yuk:
     
  13. ChrissyM

    ChrissyM girl who fell to earth

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    i looked at the thread title and was thinking that this is an oxymoron... homeless chic??
    there's nothing chic about being homeless...
    and the necessity of wearing everything you own so that it doesn't get stolen or because you have nowhere else to put it.

    i don't find that westwood collection to be particularly chic either :innocent:
     
  14. VogueParisLover

    VogueParisLover New Member

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    ^ :rofl:

    What a joke.
     
  15. xerq

    xerq !

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    thank god someone threw a cat at her.-_-
     
  16. Urban Stylin

    Urban Stylin ɐʎ ʎǝɥ

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    wow that westwood with the cardboards is abit extreme though I cant really blame people that get inspiration from it..designers have been inspired by so many gory/sad things like war, mourning a loved one etc
     
  17. silk skin paws

    silk skin paws doldrums

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    :lol::lol:

    Unfortunately the 'homeless' look is glorified and it's been so for quite some time now.
     
    #17 silk skin paws, Mar 10, 2010
    Last edited by moderator chinie: Mar 10, 2010
  18. BerlinRocks

    BerlinRocks New Member

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    the whole Westwood past and current campain are about this ...

    and I think this is not something new. I remember a blog where the owner posted "streetstyle" of homeless people .... It was some sort of success in the hype. And Cory Kennedy is a bit about that (do the people remember her ? what is she doing now ? I hope she's in unversity, for her own sake) .... Hobo style ....
     
  19. Lady Luck

    Lady Luck New Member

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    Oh sigh. Homelessness is a real problem in my area, so I find this tasteless.
     
  20. yvesmanoel

    yvesmanoel New Member

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    how did this even start?
     

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