The Singapore-based Pinay teen—who went viral for referring to her $80 item from Charles & Keith as a “luxury bag”—stressed the importance of striving to be kind to other people, even the ones you only come across online.
Currently in the Philippines for a vacation, Zoe Gabriel talked about her learnings after the incident in an interview on ABS-CBN News Channel’s Headstart on Wednesday, Jan. 25.
“As much as possible, strive to be kind because ultimately, you’re still gonna be talking to real people on the Internet,” she told netizens.
“You just can’t see them, but they still have real feelings. We should just be careful and be kind,” she said.
Gabriel got bashed on social media early this month when she shared a TikTok video of herself getting all excited about her new $80 (over P4,000) bag from the Singaporean fashion house, which she described as a “luxury” item.
She recalled the incident in the interview and reiterated that she didn’t come from a “well-off” family. “Eighty dollars was a really big value to me so that’s, at first, why I considered it a luxury bag,” she shared.
“But as this whole situation started to progress and I reflected and looked back, I also learned that luxury does mean different things to other people,” she said, explaining that it could also mean privilege or “something that you’re privileged to have.”
A few days after her viral post, Gabriel was invited by Charles & Keith to lunch as they were “impressed” by how she handled the situation. The founders, who also had humble beginnings, likewise welcomed her to their headquarters for a tour.
On Jan. 15, the TikToker excitedly shared she received some gifts from the brand. As seen in her video, the package came with a note that read: "We hope that it will remind you of this special moment where you inspired so many others to be kind, compassionate, and confident."
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.