Viral teen has lunch with Charles & Keith's founders after getting mocked online for calling the brand a 'luxury'

SYDI ALIF
14 Jan 2023 08:23am
Zoe with her father at Charles and Keith headquarters - Instagram (@zoeaaleah)
Zoe with her father at Charles and Keith headquarters - Instagram (@zoeaaleah)
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A 17-year-old Singaporean who goes by Zoe Gabriel was invited for lucnh and a tour around the Charles and Keith's headquarters with founders after going viral on TikTok.

The exceptional experience was shared on Instagram with two pictures of herself posing with her father in front of the local fashion giant's office and also in its company vehicle.

She captioned the post, "We had such an amazing opportunity to visit @charleskeithofficial‘s headquarters, and learn more about the behind-the-scenes! It was so fun, everybody was so nice and accommodating."

Zoe revealed that they got to meet the brand's founder, "We had the chance to sit down with keith and get to know their company a little better." After thanking netizens "who has shown their support", the eldest of four siblings hinted an upcoming unboxing video.

"Shoes are the Charles & Keith Lucile Satin Platform Sandals, in black, with special thanks to miss Lyn Ng (look out for an unboxing, haha)."

It all started when the Philippines-born adolescent posted a video on TikTok last Sunday referring to the Charles and Keith's black Double Handle Tote Bag which is sold at S$79.90 as her first "luxury bag". Little did she know, her publicised excitement was going to cost her unpleasant reactions from fellow users of the social platform telling her off that the hard-earned gift from her father was cheap and that she should know better instead of gushing over the luxury-dubbed item.

Zoe's viral TikTok which received cyberbullying - TikTok (@zohtaco)
Zoe's viral TikTok which received cyberbullying - TikTok (@zohtaco)



As a response to the unsolicited negativity, she uploaded another TikTok with a pinned comment from her first video that read "Who's gonna tell her?" implying that she was ignorant due to her highly perception of the gifted bag. In contrast with the first video that has gained almost 13 million views as of now, this one does not feature any music or as exciting at all as she came forward to share her personal outlook.

Zoe's response TikTok that impressed Charles and Keith members - TikTok (@zohtaco)
Zoe's response TikTok that impressed Charles and Keith members - TikTok (@zohtaco)

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Starting the off the video by pointing that money is topic that she found the most uncomfortable to talk about she did not have a lot growing up, she recalled how her family could not afford to buy bread from BreadTalk that it was an occasional item when they first moved from their motherland to Singapore. "Every time we passed by a store, my parents would just say 'next time', but next time would never come," Zoe said as she painted her parents' struggling financial circumstance.

She expressed her her view on the bitter reaction by saying, "Your comment spoke volumes on how ignorant you seem because of your wealth.

"To you, an S$80 bag may not be a luxury, (but) for me and my family, it is a lot, and I was so grateful that my dad was able to get me one. I can't believe I got hate over a bag that I was so excited to have," she spoke after wiping off a tear from her face noting that her father worked so hard for that money.

"Our hearts really went out to Zoe, but we were so impressed with (how gracefully) she handled the situation, displaying wisdom far beyond her years, and values that resonated with us greatly. Our founders believe that our products should spark joy, empower fashion lovers, and give them confidence, something we believe she presented so eloquently in her video," said a spokesperson in The Straits Times.

Speaking of luxury bags, where do the numbers on their price tags need to sit at least for you to consider 'luxury'? Even more importantly, do you think that a luxury handbag is an investment or an indulgence?

Introducing a special series for our On The Ground video programme, called Living Beyond Your Means. We had candidly asked Malaysians what their spending habits are like, especially in this state of economy.

First up, bags! So check out ON THE GROUND: Living Beyond Your Means: How much would you spend on luxury bags? [Episode 5] at https://youtu.be/iGWJGskjBvs
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