How to Fail at Your Localisation Strategy: Chanel Boomerang


BBC - You've done your shopping but there's just one thing missing, the thing you absolutely don't need but somehow still want to set yourself apart? Look no further. French luxury brand Chanel has your back: a boomerang for $1,460 (€1,260; £1,130). A hefty price tag.

Surely it must be designed by a famous indigenous artist. Sadly, no.

The indigenous community in Australia says this is yet another example of crass cultural appropriation. The item is listed on Chanel's website under Other Accessories in the 2017 Spring-Summer pre-collection, along with other gadgets like a pair of beach rackets with balls for £2,860.

Spending a little extra to give you that air of luxury should of course not come as a surprise when it comes to brands in the league of Chanel. It's the name you pay for and the perceived status that comes with it and Chanel will likely not be bothered about having that pointed out to them. But accusations of offending or even humiliating an entire indigenous culture are a different ball game and the French luxury brand certainly is feeling some heat.

"It's simply a misappropriation of aboriginal culture," Gabrielle Sullivan, chief executive of the Indigenous Arts Code, tells the BBC. Her organisation has been lobbying against imported and mass produced fake aboriginal artefacts for years.

A native artist, Bibi Barba says “Boomerangs are a cultural symbol for Australians. A lot of indigenous artists do artwork on them and this artwork is different in different parts of the country, it holds different meaning.”

An immense amount of ridicule later, the ultimate demand is for Chanel to donate the money they make with this to the campaign against fake culture. (if that exists...).

All the luxury shamming and activist rallying apart, nobody will spend $1500 on a boomerang!

#Chanel

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