Fashion News

Chanel boomerang criticised for stealing Aboriginal culture

The high-end take on the boomerang has been called offensive.

Chanel boomerang has caused a furore on social media for cultural appropriation.

Luxury fashion brand Chanel has come under fire in Australia for creating a designer boomerang complete with the label’s signature branding.

The wood and resin luxury item, listed under “other accessories” features as part of the fashion house’s spring-summer 2017 pre-collection and has been priced at AUD$1930 ($2075).

The designer product was first seen doing the rounds on Monday after US makeup artist Jeffree Star Instagrammed a photo of the accessory, along with a message of appreciation.

“Having so much fun with my new @Chanel boomerang,” with the emoji for the OK symbol.

While the post received a more than 86,000 likes, there were also plenty who took to the social media site to say they found the boomerang offensive.

Many social media users also took to Twitter to express their anger at the brand for appropriating Australian Aboriginal culture.

Aboriginal activist Nayuka Gorrie called out Chanel's high-end take on the boomerang, issuing several tweets targeting the brand's actions.

Speaking to the Guardian Australia, Gorrie says the collection was “so wrong it is almost absurd.”

"Having a luxury brand swoop in, appropriate, sell our technologies and profit from our cultures for an absurd amount of money is ridiculous and hurtful," she explained. "If Chanel truly want to respect Aboriginal cultures, the first place they should start is discontinue this product and issue an apology. Perhaps the next step would be supporting existing black designers."

The French fashion house - which has been selling boomerangs since 2006 - issued an apology and expressed any regret for offence caused by the boomerang.

“Chanel is extremely committed to respecting all cultures, and regrets that some may have felt offended,” a company spokesperson told Fairfax.

The boomerang is one of five accessories available. Others include four tennis balls for AUD$570, and a AUD$4860 beach set featuring rubber balls and two paddles made from rubber, wood and resin.