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Chanel launched a resin and wood boomerang that costs $1,325 as part of its luxury sports collection, and Australia’s Aboriginal population is none too pleased, accusing Chanel of cultural appropriation.
According to ABC Australia, the boomerang is a vital part of Australia’s Aboriginal heritage, and ancient carvings in rock art — that might be some of the oldest art in the world — depict the hunting tool, proving its venerable roots. This is why, according to The Sydney Morning Herald, Chanel’s branding of the boomerang as a luxury sporting accessory engraved with the Chanel logo is offensive to Australia’s Aboriginal population.
QUT Professor of Intellectual Property and Innovation Matthew Rimmer says in The Sydney Morning Herald, “As a good corporate citizen, Chanel should apologise fully, withdraw the boomerang from sale, and make appropriate reparations to Australian Indigenous communities.” Indeed, Rimmer’s argument supports the claim that the boomerang is the intellectual property of Australian Indigenous people.
People also took to Twitter to express outrage over the luxury boomerang, calling it wrong on so many levels.
As this last tweet points out the cost in AUD of the Chanel boomerang is 10 percent of the average income of Indigenous Australians, a fact substantiated by The Guardian.
Tuesday, April 16, Chanel issued a statement via a company spokesperson claiming the following: “Chanel is extremely committed to respecting all cultures, and regrets that some may have felt offended.” There has been no confirmation on whether or not the French luxury brand intends to pull the boomerang from its label.
And not everyone is displeased with the Chanel boomerang. Jeffree Star, a California beauty blogger is quite smitten with his:
Certainly, the Chanel logo equals status, but in this case, it might also be a sign of cultural appropriation. You decide.