Belfast Telegraph

Austin Mahone's new Fossil campaign is a tribute to his late dad

The singer received his dad's watch on his 18th birthday.

Pop star Austin Mahone is honouring his late father by fronting the new advertising campaign for Fossil watches.

Carter Mahone committed suicide when Austin was just a baby, and the 21-year-old reveals one of his most treasured keepsakes from his dad's belongings is an old Fossil timepiece he used to wear.

"My dad passed away when I was two years old, and he had a Fossil watch that my mum gave him when I was around one or two," the singer explains to People.com. "When he passed away, she saved it for me all these years and gave it to me on my 18th birthday."

The personal connection to the watch brand made Austin's new role with the company all the more poignant.

"Once I started to work with Fossil I was like, 'Damn, this is crazy,'" he shares. "I just got this gift from my mum, and now I'm doing a campaign with them. It's crazy!"

The Say Somethin' star avoids wearing his father's watch for fear of damaging the "ancient" accessory, but he keeps it in a prominent place in his bedroom at home: "I keep it in a little plastic bag on my dresser so I can see it," he says, "but I don't really ever wear it."

Instead, Austin has started to build up his own Fossil collection with some of the brand's more innovative pieces.

"I really like the new Smartwatch Fossil came out with," he gushes. "I have three or four of them. I can connect it to my phone, it tracks all my fitness stuff when I go to the gym and I can take pictures with it. It's pretty crazy."

The Fossil First campaign is Austin's first major fashion gig. He follows in the footsteps of fellow brand spokesmodels like Kristen Bell, Black-ish actress Yara Shahidi, and Hamilton star Leslie Odom, Jr.

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