Why would shoppers get a regular off-the-rack boomerang when they could get a designer one? That’s what the Chanel team must have asked themselves when designing their very own boomerang.
Yes, Chanel sells a boomerang — the V-shaped Frisbee-like hunting tool used by indigenous peoples around the world. The main difference is that this one costs $1,325. It’s as if Chanel were begging to be accused of cultural appropriation. As if on cue, the claims started rolling in as soon as it became known that this item existed.
The main complaint, as described by the Independent, is that Chanel is making money off a tool once used by native communities, some of which are still struggling to survive. “Cultural appropriation hits a new low — I sincerely hope that Chanel is donating all the profits to underprivileged Aboriginal communities,” one person wrote on social media. “Have decided to save for the next three years so I can connect with my culture via @CHANEL,” another commented. “Chanel your ‘boomerang’ is tacky and a gross appropriation of indigenous culture for your own profit,” said a third.
— Nayuka Gorrie (@NayukaGorrie) May 15, 2017
At A$1,930, the Chanel boomerang costs nearly 10% of the average income of Indigenous Australians https://t.co/l4ICYkR4JU
— Elle Hunt (@mlle_elle) May 16, 2017
— Slow Burn (@SlowBurnOz) May 16, 2017
And now, on the History Chanel, we have overpriced cultural appropriation making a come back for less than $2,000 pic.twitter.com/w9BB7NfYGi
— Mitch Aubudusson (@BuduInya) May 16, 2017
Chanel has responded. “Chanel is extremely committed to respecting all cultures and deeply regrets that some may have felt offended,” a representative for the brand told the Independent. “The inspiration was taken from leisure activities from other parts of the world, and it was not our intention to disrespect the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and their significance to the boomerang as a cultural object. As such, the object was included into a sportswear range.”
OK, even so. Who would spend that much money on such “sportswear”? Even if it is engraved with the Chanel C’s. Maybe a really fancy set of skis or a bike or even a high-tech tennis racket would have been a better choice. Naturally, Twitter users commented on the absurdity.
A Chanel's $2,000 boomerang they gotta be out they damn mind. But some fool will buy it pic.twitter.com/3DX6nxIcmC
— DKT (@darleneturner53) May 16, 2017
— Dave Landau (@LandauDave) May 16, 2017
Could Chanel's $2,000 boomerang continue to be the most bizarre #brand extension ever?
— Jeetendr Sehdev (@JeetendrSehdev) May 16, 2017
That @CHANEL boomerang better be able to return even after knocking me a kangaroo and Chanel CEO for lunch. $2k? TG.
— The Kaylah Truth (@kaylahtruth) May 15, 2017
There is one person who has the boomerang and loves it, and that’s makeup artist Jeffree Star.
— Jeffree Star (@JeffreeStar) May 15, 2017
The boomerang is part of the brand’s spring/summer 2017 “Other Accessories,” which also includes a $1,550 tennis racket, a black paddleboard branded with huge white C’s, a kadima set for $3,350, and crisp white tennis balls for $475.
Who the hell buys a Chanel surfboard?! ???? pic.twitter.com/KPclhYwQjd
— H. Halim (@Haziqah_H) April 10, 2017
@VogueRunway I don't wonderstand where is the interest to buy a Chanel surfboard
— dudessinauxpodiums (@dessins_podiums) December 6, 2016
The surfboard eventually became a hit, however. It even made its way into a rap lyric. “I got a Chanel surfboard let me catch a wave,” 2 Chainz says in “Here We Go Again.” Kourtney Kardashian gave an $11,250 version of the Chanel surfboard to Kris Jenner for Mother’s Day in 2016. And Miley Cyrus owns one too.
Peep Miley's Chanel surfboard in the background ???????? pic.twitter.com/69wsCFuiSd
— Miley Cyrus Fashion (@StylishCyrus) February 3, 2016
The luxury brand has also sold boxing gloves and in 2010 was selling a football and light weights. What’s next? A $7,000 leather baseball glove?
Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- Former Chanel CEO: The Luxury Market ‘Bubble’ Hasn’t Popped, but Air Is Leaking
- ASOS Accused of Cultural Appropriation for ‘Chandelier Head Clip’
- Meet Gabrielle, the New Bag Line From Chanel Everyone Is Obsessed With