In January 2016 Turkish officials uncovered a factory in Izmir that was producing fake lifejackets. Due to the war in Syria, refugees have been using Izmir as the primary hub to reach Greek shores by sea.
The factory named the lifejackets “Yamaxa” to counterfeit the known manufacturer “Yamaha”. The police seized 1,263 non-buoyant lifejackets. In this factory, two of the employees were Syrian children who worked in hopes of earning enough money to purchase lifejackets from themselves and their families. This scandal was revealed the same week that thirty bodies washed up on Turkish beaches, having drowned attempting to reach Greece. Everyday, bodies continue to be found on these coastlines – most wearing lifejackets.
Inspired by this issue, Océane turned a stereotypical lifejacket into iron. The choice of iron reflects both the weight of dependency people have on a lifejacket and the sinking qualities of a water-absorbent lifejacket.
In addition to this, the specific patina choice that resulted in a rusty orange hue and blue/green tint was used to reflect two things: the iconic bright orange of lifejackets and time passing at the bottom of the ocean.