Chanel slammed for £1,100 boomerang

Emma Woollacott

Chanel is in big trouble after launching a £1,100 boomerang - and not just because of the ludicrous price.

While you can pick up a wooden boomerang on Amazon for under a fiver, Chanel's selling them at two thousand times more. They form part of a line of sports accessories which also includes a £2,585 beach racket and £367 set of tennis balls.

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And despite the boomerang's crazy price, at least one person has actually bought one: makeup artist Jeffree Star, who posted a photo on Instagram with the comment "Having so much fun with my new #Chanel boomerang."

However, for some people, there's a bigger problem than the price tag. Boomerangs were, of course, invented by indigenous Australians for use as weapons - but are also an important cultural symbol, as the artwork on each one has significance.

As a result, many aboriginal Australians are outraged, saying that it's an example of cultural appropriation.

Star has come in for some criticism himself for buying one of the over-priced toys. "@JeffreeStar, rather than paying $2000AUD for a Chanel Boomerang you should look into investing in one made by an Aboriginal Australian," one woman posts.

Others have tackled Chanel directly, with thousands of comments posted on the company's Twitter page so far.

"I am from Australia and I am offended that a company would make a joke out of something that was used as a weapon for survival," writes one.

Another person, though, found a silver lining: "Lowkey happy about the Chanel boomerang bc I have to write a 2500 word essay on the appropriation of aboriginal culture n needed sources," she says.

Australian artists have a big problem with rip-offs. While proper, traditional boomerangs are still made in Australia by indigenous people, the vast majority that are bought by tourists are mass-produced, generally in Thailand, China or Indonesia.

Chanel has released an apology - of sorts. "Chanel is extremely committed to respecting all cultures, and regrets that some may have felt offended," it says.

But as artist Bibi Barba points out to the BBC, "Chanel and other luxury fashion brands hate it when people steal their logos and make copies of their products."

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