Author: Andria Lo and Valerie Luu Chinatown Pretty

Fashion and Wisdom from Chinatown’s Most Stylish Seniors
Tuesday, 5/25/2021
7:00 - 8:00

Hear about Chinatown Pretty, the book that captures the street-style of senior citizens across six North American Chinatowns: San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York and Vancouver. This book (six years in the making) chronicles their creative style and their life wisdoms, along with histories of each regional Chinatown.

What is Chinatown Pretty? It’s a signature style worn by pòh pohs (grandmas) and gùng gungs (grandpas) in Chinatowns everywhere. It’s a mix of modern and vintage, high and low, handmade and store bought, all brought together into one unexpected and effortless look. It’s layers of floral sweaters and puffy jackets paired with personalized accessories, checkered socks, and a chic silver bob—and topped with a Supreme hat.

Hanging out together in San Francisco’s Chinatown, writer Valerie Luu and photographer Andria Lo became fascinated with the style, and they set out to document and celebrate it. For the past five years they have been photographing and interviewing trendsetting seniors in six Chinatowns across North America: New York, San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles, Chicago and Vancouver. They ask each person to participate in a street‐style photoshoot and to tell the personal story—sometimes funny, sometimes bittersweet—behind their eye‐catching outfit.

Their new book, Chinatown Pretty, collects more than 100 photographs and interviews. In addition to the wonderful fashions, the book is a loving tribute to the Chinatown community, the bravery and resilience of immigrants, the pleasures of self‐expression and the wisdom of elders. Here readers will meet men and women who face life with resourcefulness, creativity and a knack for finding joy even in difficult circumstances. Along with their personal stories, they offer advice on how to live to a ripe old age with grace, humor—and style.

Andria Lo is a photographer whose work has been featured in the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times and Wired. She lives in Oakland, CA. Instagram

Valerie Luu is a journalist and one half of the Vietnamese pop‐up restaurant Rock Paper Scissors. She lives in San Francisco. Instagram


Chinatown Pretty - Website | Chinatown Pretty - Instagram | Chinatown Pretty - Facebook

Chronicle Books -  Website | Chronicle Books - Instagram | Chronicle Books - Twitter | Chronicle Books - Facebook

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Engage with your favorite writers and discover your next read.

Connect to engaging discussions and performances related to the Chinese American community.

Weaving Stories: Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Interest
Connect with AANHPI heritage with programs and workshops, book recommendations and more.

Weaving Stories is the Library's celebration of the many diverse histories and cultures from Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities.

This program is sponsored by Friends of the San Francisco Public Library.

Attending Programs

For questions about the program or help registering, contact sfplcpp@sfpl.orgAll programs are drop-in (no registration necessary) unless otherwise noted. All SFPL locations are wheelchair accessible. For accommodations (such as ASL or language interpretation), call (415) 557-4557 or contact Requesting at least 3 business days in advance will help ensure availability.

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