Chanel has come under fire for selling a $1,325 boomerang carrying the brand’s distinct double C symbol and smooth black finish. Made of wood and resin, people are taking offense not just at the outrageous price tag but how the luxury label is appropriating an object that’s an integral part of Australian indigenous culture.
— Nayuka (@NayukaGorrie) May 16, 2017
Lowkey happy about the Chanel boomerang bc I have to write a 2500 word essay on the appropriation of aboriginal culture n needed sources
— ape-rol (@apewul) May 15, 2017
A Chanel spokesperson offered some sort of apology for the product, “Chanel is extremely committed to respecting all cultures, and regrets that some might have been offended.” Pretty weak, if you ask me, and unconvincing given how there is no move to pull the product from Chanel’s current line.
A boomerang was used as a hunting tool by the aboriginal Australians and is a symbol of their history. Aboriginal artist Bibi Barba told the BBC, “They are a cultural symbol for us. A lot of indigenous artists do artwork on them and this artwork is different in different parts of the country, it holds different meaning.”
It also comes off as tone-deaf from the brand as groups in Australia have long been fighting against selling souveneir boomerangs in airports and gift shops as they are oft made by a mass-production company that’s not even based in Australia.
Currently, this designer iteration of the tool is part of Chanel’s spring/summer 2017 pre-collection which also boasts of $425 tennis balls, a tennis racket, and a paddle.
Photo courtesy of Chanel