Chanel Accused of Cultural Appropriation for Selling a $1,325 Boomerang

Chanel is accused of cultural appropriation for selling a pricey boomerang. (Photo: Getty Images)

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.

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.

There is one person who has the boomerang and loves it, and that’s makeup artist Jeffree Star.

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.

Gisele Bündchen debuted a Chanel surfboard in 2014. It cost $4,000, according to Surfer Today. People were just as confused by that item.

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.

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?

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