Zoe Gabriel: Teen mocked for calling $60 Charles & Keith bag a 'luxury item' has the last laugh

Zoe Gabriel: Teen mocked for calling $60 Charles & Keith bag a 'luxury item' has the last laugh
Zoe Gabriel, who was mocked for calling a $60 Charles & Keith bag a luxury item, became a community ambassador for the same brand (Zoe Gabriel/TikTok; Charles & Keith/Instagram)

YISHUN, SINGAPORE: A 17-year-old Singapore teenager, who was mocked for calling an $60 bag a "luxury item," is having the last laugh. Zoe Gabriel, who goes by @zohtaco on TikTok, went viral in January, when she shared a cheerful video on the platform, captioned 'Thank you dad.' In the video, Gabriel was seen unboxing a black-leather Charles & Keith tote bag, which her father gifted her.

The delighted teenager described the bag as a "luxury" item as it cost around $60. With over 22.7 million views, the video went viral, and social media users raced to the comments section to mock Gabriel for calling the bag a luxury item. The comments were downright mean but one particular comment prompted Gabriel to post an emotional response, according to Insider.


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Why did Zoe Gabriel call the bag a luxury item?

In the video, Gabriel defended her choice of using the term "luxury” and responded to a now-deleted comment that read, "Who's gonna tell her?" followed by a laughing emoji. She explained why the purse meant so much to her. “We couldn’t buy new things as simple as bread from BreadTalk,” she said, adding, “That kind of thing was a luxury to us…Every time we passed by a store, my parents would just say next time, but next time would never come.”



"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,” Gabriel said, according to Upworthy. It was also revealed that Gabriel’s father is a mechanical engineer, who came to Singapore in 2009. A year later, Gabriel, her mother, brother and two sisters moved to Yishun to live with him and are now residents there.



How did Zoe Gabriel become famous?

Her response video garnered over 574,000 likes and over half a million comments as of April 13. While many users came forward to support Gabriel, some users tagged the Charles & Keith TikTok account, asking the brand to "do something." Charles & Keith’s founding brothers, Charles and Keith Wong, took notice of the video and invited Gabriel and her father, to have lunch and an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour at the company’s headquarters, reported The Straits Times. Later, Gabriel took to her Instagram to share a video of herself and her dad outside the company's headquarters. "It was so fun, everybody was so nice and accommodating," she wrote in the caption.



The surprises don't end there. Later in March, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, the brand shared a picture of Gabriel modeling one of its bags, revealing that she has become a community ambassador for Charles & Keith. Following the partnership with the brand, Gabriel’s life took a sudden turn as she garnered immense social media attention and became an AirAsia ambassador, according to SCMP. She recently shared a video, in which she was seen dressed in the airline’s signature red cabin crew uniform, dancing to 'Boy’s a Liar Pt. 2' by PinkPantheress and Ice Spice. The video has 1.1 million views and 530 comments so far.

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 Teen who was mercilessly mocked for calling $60 Charles & Keith bag 'luxury item' has the last laugh