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


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]

Canadian Man Named Lorne Grabher Stripped of His Right to Have a ‘GRABHER’ License Plate Is Appealing the Court’s Decision

Lorne Grabher shows off his forbidden license plate.
Lorne Grabher shows off his forbidden license plate.
CBC News, YouTube

For about 25 years, Nova Scotia, Canada, was home to a vanity license plate emblazoned with “GRABHER.”

Lorne Grabher had given it to his father as a 65th birthday gift in 1991, and it eventually passed to Lorne himself. Anyone who knew the Grabhers no doubt recognized the last name, but the same couldn’t be said for one passerby, alarmed at what seemed like a blanket imperative for abduction and assault. In November 2016, the anonymous individual filed a complaint with the Registrar of Motor Vehicles, who informed Grabher that his plate would be revoked the following month.

Grabher, proud of his Austrian-German heritage and outraged at what he considered to be a violation of his rights, sued the Registrar. This past January, CBC News reported that the Nova Scotia Supreme Court sided with the Registrar, ruling that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does not extend to this particular situation.

“The seven letters (‘GRABHER’) on a government-owned license plate can be interpreted as promoting sexualized violence (without full contextual information),” the court stated in its decision. “Preventing harm that could flow from such a message on a government plate must be seen as pressing and substantial.”

Though disappointed with the outcome, Grabher was determined to continue the fight, even if that meant taking the case all the way to Canada’s Supreme Court.

“I’m not giving up,” he told CBC News in January. “I’m in it for the long haul.”

True to his word, Grabher is now filing an appeal through his lawyers at Calgary’s Justice Centre for Constitutional Freedoms on the grounds that the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms does, in fact, cover personalized license plates, and there is no evidence to suggest that Grabher’s plate actually promotes sexualized violence [PDF].

While you wait for the next chapter of this epic battle of wills to unfold, check out 11 other controversial license plates here.

[h/t CBC News]

Oregon Police Are Cautioning People Not to Call 911 When Their Toilet Paper Runs Out

Running out of Charmin does not rise to the level of an emergency.
Running out of Charmin does not rise to the level of an emergency.
belchonock/iStock via Getty Images

Concerns that Americans may be short on toiletries amid the coronavirus situation have led to some people hoarding essentials like toilet paper, causing others to see their own stock run low. While supply chains have reassured consumers that restocking toilet tissue is no issue, some residents of Newport, Oregon apparently consider their shortage of two-ply to be an emergency matter.

CNN reports that the Newport Police Department issued an exasperated warning on its Facebook page for residents to stop calling 911 to report they’re low on toilet paper.

“It’s hard to believe we even have to post this,” the message reads. “Do not call 9-1-1 just because you ran out of toilet paper. You will survive without our assistance.”

The post goes on to sardonically suggest some historical alternatives for manufactured toilet paper, including “old rope and anchor lines soaked in salt water” and “sea shells.” In case readers don’t get the message, the post also notes—somewhat ominously—that Newport is a “coastal town.”

Obviously, running low on bath tissue can be an inconvenient matter, but the Newport PD wanted to remind people that an unwiped bottom does not rise to the level of an emergency requiring first responder intervention.

[h/t CNN]