The 72-year-old retiree had arrived in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong, China, to visit his granddaughter, Lv Ting, and her four friends, at her tiny apartment where the women's fashion business was starting out. During that same period the fashion model, Lv Ting's sister-in-law, had called and cancelled an important photo shoot.
While this was going on, Liu Qianping was admiring the clothing his granddaughter and her friends had designed, trying on some of the new clothing --- especially a new cape he liked.
"I saw they bought lots of new colorful clothes, and so I started trying out a new cloak coat, because it was cool," Liu told NBC News.
"So I tried on a jacket and they found it really funny, and I thought it was quite funny. So they asked if they could take pictures of me and post them on the Internet to sell the clothes. And I said, 'why not?'."
soon reported that a fashion star was born in just two weeks as Liu Qianping quickly became one of China's most recognized models.
Lv and her colleagues took pictures, and sent them to friends for a laugh. To their surprise, the feedback was positive, and soon decided that the skinny former farmer was the supermodel they have been looking for, says the NBC article.
On Twitter, Grandpa Liu is now called Granddad by millions. Watching fashion shows on television has helped him adapt new ideas onto his fashion posing, in addition to advising his granddaughter on what pieces of clothing are stronger sellers than others.
But, Grandpa Liu says he usually follows his granddaughter's advice -- she is the photographer. And, he says, he takes his role as supermodel lightly -- still finding time to clean his granddaughter's apartment.