Chanel has received backlash from Indigenous activists for selling $1,930 luxury boomerangs.
The boomerang came to public attention after make-up artist Jeffree Star posted a picture of the item on Snapchat, Twitter and Instagram. Chanel soon became a target of outrage, with people claiming the “luxury” item was a cultural appropriation of the Aboriginal Australian tool.
Following the criticisms, Chanel responded with a statement: “Chanel is extremely committed to respecting all cultures and deeply regrets that some may have felt offended. 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 the significance of the boomerang as a cultural object.”
It is not clear whether the brand will stop selling the boomerang.
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
— Nayuka Gorrie (@NayukaGorrie) May 15, 2017
The controversy came after Nordstrom’s faux muddy jeans debacle. The “Barracuda Straight Leg Jeans” was sold for $US425 and described as “embody[ing] rugged, Americana workwear that’s seen some hard-working action with a crackled, caked-on muddy coating that shows you’re not afraid to get down and dirty”. The jeans quickly drew criticisms for commodifying the image of working people.
American obscenity. Upmarket Nordstrom's stores selling "muddy jeans" to make wearer look like a poor 3rd World worker. Cost: US$425 (R5629) pic.twitter.com/fyMP0J68Em
— James Hall (@hallaboutafrica) April 26, 2017