Chanel draws criticism from indigenous Australians with thousand-dollar boomerang via ABC News

(ABC)– Chanel’s latest addition to its high-fashion sports equipment line is drawing accusations of cultural appropriation. The French fashion house announced it would sell a resin-polished, wooden boomerang embellished with the brand’s iconic double C logo for a suggested retail price of $1,325. But critics say Chanel is appropriating and disrespecting one of indigenous Australians’ oldest and most recognizable hunting tools.

Jeffree Star, a U.S.-based makeup artist, posted a photo of the Chanel boomerang on his Instagram account, and reaction online was swift.

One commenter wrote: “A boomerang is a symbolic cultural symbol to the indigenous Australians and this is disgusting, it’s being materialized.”

According to the National Museum of Australia, boomerangs have “an important role in Aboriginal culture as objects of work and leisure.” There are many different indigenous groups in Australia, including aboriginal people and Torres Strait Islanders.

Critics have called Chanel’s version expensive and impractical. Others have proposed that rather than buying an expensive replica, consumers should learn about the culture behind it. Many balked at the hefty price tag.

Chanel released a statement saying the brand “is extremely committed to respecting all cultures and regrets that some may have felt offended.”

The boomerang is one of five sports products available in the Spring-Summer 2017 pre-collection on the Chanel website. The collection also includes tennis balls, a wooden paddle ball set, a tennis racket and a stand-up paddle board.

Chanel did not immediately respond to ABC News’ request for comment.

WTNH NEWS8 provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Also, you can now block any inappropriate user by simple selecting the drop down menu on the right of any comment and selection "Block User" from there.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s