Charles & Keith founders having lunch with S'pore teen, 17, shamed on TikTok for calling brand 'luxury'

Zoe and her father are invited to meet the founders and have a tour of the HQ.

Hannah Martens | January 11, 2023, 05:12 PM

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The 17-year-old girl in Singapore, who was shamed on TikTok for calling Charles & Keith a "luxury" brand, has been invited to meet the founders of the shoes, bag, and accessories company.

The teen, who is known on TikTok as "Zohtaco", was dissed by others on the platform after she posted a Jan. 8 video that showed her labelling a Charles & Keith bag, which she received as a gift from her father, as a luxury item.

Those who responded negatively to the teen, who has been publicly identified as Zoe, said Charles & Keith was not a luxury brand and ridiculed her for even thinking that it was.

Zoe subsequently shut down her haters by explaining her financial situation and that she is not from a privileged background, and that a Charles & Keith bag can be considered a branded good to her and her family.

Her follow-up videos in the wake of the trolling and negativity has won widespread praise and support in Singapore and overseas, as she was said to have displayed grace and maturity beyond her years in handling the unintended publicity.

Lunch with Charles and Keith

According to a spokesperson from Charles and Keith, Zoe and her father have been invited by the company to lunch and to meet the founders, as well as to tour the headquarters, Marketing Interactive reported.

"Our heart really went out to Zoe when we saw the videos and comments -- there is no place for bullying... but we were so impressed with the grace and humility in how she handled the situation, displaying wisdom far beyond her years and values that resonated with us greatly," said the spokesperson.

Mothership has reached out to Charles and Keith for comment separately.

Zoe shares more about her experience

In response to Mothership's queries, Zoe said her family has lived in Singapore for almost 13 years now.

Her father moved here in 2009, and she and her siblings followed the year after.

"We feel really blessed to be able to live in such a beautiful city-state and love every part of it," she said, "especially the food!"

Zoe said she was shocked when her video went viral initially, as she did not expect it to garner so much attention.

"Now, I feel blessed that it happened, because of all the lessons it has taught me," she shared.

Zoe explained that her experience also taught her that she was not alone:

"I have learned so much from the people in my comment section... I learned that while we may have different life experiences, there will always be someone out there who will understand. You are not alone. From everyone who left words of encouragement (and the haters), I have been reminded of the infinite power of words. I am eternally grateful for them all."

When asked about what she took away from this whole experience, Zoe said it has reminded her that everyone's financial circumstances and life experience differs:

"Sometimes it's hard to remember that value is subjective, and our perspectives may not always align -- but I believe we should always strive for compassion and understanding, and to be an example of kindness and love wherever we are in life."

Another brand chips in

And it was not just Charles & Keith that reached out to Zoe.

Homegrown ramen chain, Takagi Ramen, offered an S$80 voucher to the teen.

Zoe took up the offer and brought her father and her brother to the eatery for a meal.

@zohtacothank you takagi ramen for the treat! eternally grateful &lt33 AND HAPPY 14K FOLLOWERS :0!! WOAAAH♬ Paris - Taylor Swift

Top photo via TikTok/Zohtaco