Chanel made a boomerang.  Obviously this didn't end well, but here's the details of how incredibly wrong it all went...

Included in Chanel's SS17 pre-collection Ready-To-Wear accessories, nestled among the standup paddle board and logo emblazoned tennis balls, is a boomerang.  It is black, shiny and has the Chanel logo stamped in the middle of the curve.  It immediately captured the attention of the internet when it was Instagramed by makeup artist Jeffree Star, who may have some kind of influencer arrangement with Chanel, as he has subsequently also Instagramed their tennis gear.  The outcry was instant, as many users pointed out that this hadn't been created or designed for Chanel by a person of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island heritage, who invented the boomerang as a hunting weapon.  There are also no proceeds going to Indigenous Australian peoples, who are traditionally vulnerable and marginalised groups.  The boomerang is selling for close to NZ$2,000, and is a far cry from the boomerangs made by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and craftspeople creating them today. While cultural appropriation has always plagued the fashion industry, this is a particularly troubling incident, as it is almost as if its heritage has been erased by Chanel's glossy black paint finish.

Chanel has made boomerangs before, reportedly as early as 2005, and have never faced a backlash this large or fierce.  Following the public response, Chanel made this announcement “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".