Teen shamed online for calling Charles & Keith a “luxury” brand on TikTok now a model for the brand

Picture credit: Charles & Keith

7th March 2023 – (Singapore) Zoe Gabriel, a teenager who became a viral sensation in January after her TikTok video featuring a Charles & Keith “luxury” bag, has now been selected as a model for the brand. The 17-year-old has joined a group of women associated with the home-grown fashion label for its International Women’s Day campaign.

In an Instagram post, Zoe wrote a caption stating that women are like flowers, and although their needs and time to grow may not always align, it’s okay. She added that women are like fields of poppy and lakes of lotus, diverse and bold in their differences, yet beautiful in their own unique ways. She also shared a picture of herself posing with a purple Alia bag, a special edition of one of the brand’s bestsellers, which costs SG$75.90.

Charles & Keith, a brand with 600 stores worldwide, will donate 20% of the proceeds from sales of the purple Alia bag to the Storytelling For Gender Equality programme of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women). The campaign will feature other models associated with the brand, including an administrative assistant, a marketing executive, and a product manager.

Zoe, who is the oldest of four siblings and homeschooled, moved to Singapore with her family from the Philippines in 2010. Her TikTok video, in which she thanked her father for gifting her her “first luxury bag” and excitedly unboxed the $79.90 black bag, garnered both positive and negative reactions. Some netizens mocked her for considering Charles & Keith a luxury brand, but she later posted a follow-up video in which she tearfully explained her humble background and spoke about privilege.

Charles & Keith subsequently invited her to tour its headquarters and have lunch with its founders. Now, she has been chosen as a model for the brand and will feature in its International Women’s Day campaign. Zoe’s journey from a TikTok viral sensation to becoming a model for the brand reflects the changing trends in marketing and the increasing importance of social media.