Chanel's Designer Boomerang, Which Costs $1325, Draws Critics and Backlash

Chanel
Chanel

Some fashion trends are like boomerangs: They disappear for a while, but they always come back. That said, Chanel’s high-end—and controversial—take on the traditional Aboriginal tool probably won’t be one of them.

As Mashable reports, the French fashion house has drawn criticism for creating a wood-and-resin boomerang, emblazoned with the brand's logo, that costs $1325. It’s part of their Spring-Summer 2017 Pre-Collection, which also includes sporting accessories like a $475 set of branded tennis balls and a $3350 ping pong paddle set.

Fashion design isn’t always the most practical art form, but in recent months, a handful of designers and retailers have raised eyebrows—and set off social media firestorms—after releasing products like a $425 pair of dirt-encrusted jeans, or a $2145 version of IKEA’s classic $1 tote bag. Chanel’s boomerang is the latest overpriced fashion statement to raise ridicule—but unlike those other two items, it’s also drawing accusations of cultural appropriation, since boomerangs are an intrinsic part of Australia’s Aboriginal culture.

Adding insult to injury, Chanel’s version of a boomerang “costs nearly 10 percent of the average income of Indigenous Australians,” Nathan Sentance, an Indigenous project officer at the Australian Museum, told The Guardian.

This isn’t the first time that Chanel has sold a branded boomerang. (Although this appears to be first time they’ve received heat for it.) The brand hasn’t pulled the product from their website, but they did release an apologetic statement, according to The New York Times:

“Chanel is extremely committed to respecting all cultures and deeply regrets that some may have felt offended," the statement read. "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.”

[h/t Mashable]

The Mental Floss Store Is Back!

Mental Floss Store
Mental Floss Store

You've been asking about it for months, and today we can finally confirm that the Mental Floss Store is back up and running! Simply head here to find dozens of T-shirts with all sorts of unique designs to choose from, whether you’re in the market for a pi pun, a risqué grammar joke, or something only your fellow bookworms will appreciate. You can even use your new Mental Floss shirt to teach your friends all about scurvy.

Mental Floss Store

If you’re just in the mood to express your love of all things Mental Floss, you can also get our darling little logo on phone cases, tote bags, mugs, baby bibs, and more.

Mental Floss Store

Head on over to the Mental Floss Store to see our entire collection. And if you use the code FLOSSERS at checkout by end of day Sunday, you'll get 20 percent off your order. 

Sign Up Today: Get exclusive deals, product news, reviews, and more with the Mental Floss Smart Shopping newsletter!

22 Creepy Cryptids From Around the World

Belgian painter Pieter Dirkx's interpretation of the Mongolian death worm.
Belgian painter Pieter Dirkx's interpretation of the Mongolian death worm.

According to Merriam-Webster, a cryptid is an animal "that has been claimed to exist but never proven to exist." But as Bigfoot believers and Loch Ness Monster enthusiasts are often quick to point out, it’s pretty difficult to prove that something doesn’t exist. Plus, it’s much more fun to indulge in the idea that giant sea monsters and hairy humanoids are roaming the uncharted corners of the planet.

On this episode of The List Show, Mental Floss editor-in-chief Erin McCarthy is taking viewers across time and space to unearth legends about lesser-known monsters that, again, haven’t been proven to not exist. Take the Mongolian death worm, a lamprey-like nightmare that supposedly lives in the Gobi Desert and radiates a poison so strong that you could die just by standing near it. If you’re an ill-behaved child or a Catholic who scarfs down steak every Friday during Lent, watch out for the Rougarou, a Louisiana-based werewolf that sniffs out those two demographics.

Learn about more fearsome, fascinating cryptids of all kinds in the video below, and subscribe to the Mental Floss YouTube channel for future episodes of The List Show.