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Pinay teen gets bashed for calling Charles & Keith 'luxury,' fashion brand invites her to lunch

By AYIE LICSI Published Jan 12, 2023 8:00 pm Updated Jan 12, 2023 8:05 pm

A Filipina teen based in Singapore became the subject of ridicule on TikTok after she posted about getting her first "luxury" bag from Charles & Keith.

In her TikTok video from Jan. 8, Zoe Gabriel got a bag from the Singaporean fashion house which was a gift from her father. She later unboxed the bag for her friends and followers in the video, wearing a smile on her face throughout the process.


thank you dad 🥹

♬ Glitch - Just audios

Some users on the app, however, didn't share Zoe's happiness and began to shame her. "Who's gonna tell her? 😂," one netizen said in a now-deleted comment.

"I get that you come from humble beginnings but calling C&K a luxury brand is just too much," another said.

The bag in question is a double handle tote bag that costs about P4,799 in the Philippines.

With over 6.7 million views, the comment section of the video also featured people defending her, applauding her dad for the wonderful gift, and sharing how their first big spend on a bag was one from C&K, too.

"Money is a topic that makes me most uncomfortable to talk about and that is because growing up, I did not have a lot, my family did not have a lot," Zoe shared in another TikTok. She told The Strait Times that her family moved from the Philippines to Singapore in 2010.

"Your comment spoke volumes on how ignorant you seem because of your wealth. To you, an $80 bag may not be a luxury. For me and my family, it is a lot. And I'm so grateful that my dad was able to get me one. He worked so hard for that money," Zoe said. "I can't believe I got hate for a bag I was so excited to have."

@zohtaco Replying to @cressy ♬ original sound - zoe 🦋

In a report by ST, Charles & Keith said that they were "impressed" by how gracefully Zoe handled the situation and invited her to have lunch with the brand's founders, who also came from humble beginnings, and tour its headquarters.

"Our founders believe that our products should spark joy, empower fashion lovers and give them confidence, something we believe [Zoe] presented so eloquently in her video and for which we are so grateful," the company spokesperson said. 

Charles & Keith was founded by brothers Charles and Keith Wong in 1990, after working at their parents' shoe store. They started out as an outlet store at the old Amara Shopping Centre in Singapore. Not long after, the brand grew into a household name and was acquired by French luxury giant LVMH.