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Influencer James Charles wears JCU merch in TikTok

Anna Maxwell via @jamescharles on TikTok
James Charles seen wearing JCU merch on a recent TikTok video.

In a TikTok video released on April 7, 2024, influencer and famous makeup artist James Charles wore a John Carroll University sweatshirt. The JCU Barstool Instagram account quickly got wind of the video and posted it on their page with the caption: “Where do all these celebrities keep getting our merch?” 

The only response the JCU community received from Charles was a comment on the post: “@itsjakeclark.” Jake Clark is another well-known influencer who uses his platform to share his music content. Recently, Charles released a new song, “Call Me Back” after deciding to get back into music following an extreme amount of hate for his earlier lackluster performances.  

It is presumed that Clark and Charles’ mutual love and respect for music is the reason why they have become closer and collaborated on various TikTok videos. Due to this connection, Clark might have been the one to get the sweatshirt and give it to Charles. The Carroll News attempted to contact Clark himself to inquire about the reasoning behind buying the shirt and in turn giving it to Charles, but has yet to receive a reply. 

Interestingly, according to the John Carroll Bookstore, it is unlikely that Charles or Clark could have gotten the sweatshirt anywhere else but directly through John Carroll. Either Charles or his friend Clark would have needed to visit the JCU Bookstore website and order it online or buy the merchandise directly in-store. Even when ordering online, the order would have gone through the bookstore on campus and shipped from here to its destination. It is the Champion reverse weave crew and it is not sold anywhere else. 

This media coverage begs the question of whether or not Charles wearing this merchandise is considered “good press” for the university. Especially because earlier in his career, in Feb. 2021, Charles was accused of allegedly contacting a minor inappropriately. He came out with a statement where he mentioned he was “disgusted” when he found out about the individual’s real age. However, this type of controversy could negatively affect the press surrounding JCU.

The Carroll News contacted Mike Scanlan, the vice president for University Relations and the Media Relations office, to comment on this press and did not receive a response from either party. 

Whether Charles wearing JCU merchandise is good or bad press, this is not the first time a famous person has sported a John Carroll sweatshirt on their social media platform. In a recent video posted on multiple platforms, Quinn XCII teased his new song while wearing a John Carroll Alumni crew neck. The musical artist performed a Zoom concert for John Carroll students back in 2021 when everyone was still confined to their houses and computers, so it is not surprising that he would have gotten merch from the university. 

Although the John Carroll community may never know how or when Charles got a hold of JCU merch, after seeing an influencer as well-known as Charles wearing a John Carroll sweatshirt, his TikTok video garnered awareness from many students on a JCU Barstool post with over 500 likes. 

Some say there is no such thing as “bad press” but others beg to differ. Whether this anomaly was good or bad for the university, it definitely got people talking about both Charles and how exactly he got the merchandise from John Carroll.

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About the Contributor
Anna Maxwell
Anna Maxwell, Arts and Life Editor
Anna Maxwell is the Arts and Life Editor for the Carroll News from Ashtabula, Ohio. She is a Freshman at John Carroll University who is an Undecided major. Anna has been writing for the Carroll News since the fall of 2023! In addition to writing for the Carroll News, she is also an Honors student here at John Carroll, and she is excited to continue writing in the years to come! When not writing, Anna can be found reading a new book, or binge-watching her favorite Netflix shows! She can also be found spending time with her friends and participating in events around campus! In the future, Anna aspires to become a writer of fiction novels, and also an editor for a well-known publishing company! To contact Anna, email her at [email protected].

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