* Twitter was in an uproar over the brand’s Spring/Summer 2017 collection
* Chanel accused of appropriating Indigenous Australian culture
* Australian tourist shops also sell boomerangs
Chanel sparked a heated social media debate when it introduced a $1,325 boomerang as part of its Spring/Summer 2017 collection, reports CNN. The label has been accused of appropriating Indigenous Australian culture.
Jeffree Star first called attention to the boomerang with a social media post on Monday evening. “Having so much fun with my new #Chanel boomerang,” wrote the beauty vlogger and make-up artist in an Instagram post.
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Not everyone thought it was as much fun. “When I think about Aboriginal culture, I think @Chanel,” Tweeted Nayuka Gorrie. The activist later added, “Have decided to save for the next three years so I can connect with my culture.”
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Nathan Sentance, an Indigenous project officer at the Australian Museum, tells The Guardian that Chanel’s boomerang cost nearly 10% of the average annual income for Indigenous Australians. Brisbane rapper Kaylah Truth, who describes herself as a Gurang/Ngugi woman, Tweeted, “That Chanel boomerang better be able to return even after knocking me a kangaroo and Chanel CEO for lunch.”
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As with most conflicts of its kind, not everyone thought the Chanel boomerang was such a big deal. “There’s nothing worse in the world?” asked Stephen Hawking (not the Stephen Hawking, just a Stephen Hawking). “Kids are raped & murdered every day & a BOOMERANG is important to u?”
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Others were quick to point out that Chanel isn’t the only retailer hawking boomerangs. Tourist shops do it, too.
“Chanel is extremely committed to respecting all cultures, and deeply regrets that some may have felt offended,” says the French label. “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, this object was included into a sportswear range.”