fashion industry

All bags are created equal: Netizens share versions of ‘luxury’ bags inspired by viral Tiktok

Ivy Pedida

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All bags are created equal: Netizens share versions of ‘luxury’ bags inspired by viral Tiktok
'Buying literally anything that is not part of your daily basic needs and purely just out of happiness should be considered a luxury,' a Twitter user shares

For netizens, a ‘Bagenciala,’ an Asus backpack, and a cartoon tote bag all share the same DNA — they are all luxury bags. Why? Because luxury is relative.

Discussions about privilege, wealth, and bags have dominated the social media space since 17-year-old Zoe Gabriel excitedly shared a TikTok video unboxing her “first luxury bag” — a gift from her father. The Filipina teenager did not expect people to mock her for her perceived luxury.

A mean “who’s gonna tell her?” remark forced Gabriel to address the hate.

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


Replying to @cressy i am so happy and grateful for you, that you can consider charles and keith not a luxury. also btw if you google it, lots of sources do classify them as a luxury brand. so.

♬ original sound – zoe 🦋 – zoe 🦋

Gabriel’s reply has earned her respect on social media, with users giving encouraging words, some even offering the Singapore-based teen their own bags for handling the hate maturely, and brands reaching out to her family.

Even Singaporean fast-fashion brand Charles & Kieth invited Gabriel to a tour of its headquarters and sent her customized bags as a way thanking the teen, a move that netizens felt she deserved.


@CHARLES & KEITH #charleskeith #imwithcharleskeith 🌻✨ to everyone who has shown their support and endless kindness, this is for you. you have made things happen for me i never thought possible, taught me lessons i will never forget, and have given me so many valuable memories. i would not be here if it weren’t for you, and for the millionth time and counting, i give you all my love, thanks, and well wishes; i am forever grateful and indebted to you all. happy 108k! ❤️🥹

♬ thenineteenseventyfive – push baby

Gabriel’s situation strongly resonated with social media users, who shared their two cents on what common people think luxury is.

“Beyond the discussion of luxury brands, is a much larger discussion about the inequality in society that fuels misunderstandings and reduced empathy, and we need to be willing to transcend beyond such misunderstandings to advocate for a fairer and more equal system that can allow greater empathy and understanding to occur,” Roy Ngerng shared.

“Buying onions in the Philippines is luxury.” For Gerry Cacanindin and other users, luxury is relative.

Sef noted that especially in this economy, buying anything that is not a basic need should be considered luxury.

Some TikTok users also came in defense of Gabriel. “Charles & Keith is not a luxury bag, but who cares?” user leonaziyan said. “A lot of people look down on affordable products, but let me tell you, just because you have the money, just because something is expensive, doesn’t mean that it is actually classy.”

CJ Reyes said he considers his trusty shoebag a luxury because of its use and convenience. “Let’s learn how to appreciate things,” he added.


We have different perception about Luxury. Something Cheap for you can be a luxury already for someone. Learn how to appreciate things ♥️ Kudos to you @zohtaco 🙏♥️ #CharlesandKeith #fyp #luxury #cjreyes @charleskeithofficial

♬ Storytelling – Adriel

Faris Abdurrachman notes brands like H&M and Uniqlo feel like a luxury given their price tags.

Others shared photos of their version of ‘luxury’ bags, ranging from cartoon totes, bulky backpacks, and complete knockoffs.

Inspired by Gabriel’s story, others also shared their own stories of buying “luxury” items.

A Twitter user pointed out the discussion goes beyond how people perceive luxury, as it also reveals the wealth disparity and attitude of some wealthy Southeast Asians.

American model Wisdom Kaye and other users also noted how social media has encouraged people to hate even the most innocent of things that people share.

What are your thoughts on this? –

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Ivy Pedida

Ivy Pedida is a digital communications specialist for Rappler’s Digital Communications arm. A shameless bandwagoner, she likes everything pop culture, whether it be the latest anime or another HBO hit. She is a furmom to five cats and one dog.