Emeco was founded following a collaborative project with Alcoa (the world’s largest aluminum manufacturer), to develop a seaworthy chair for military use in Navy submarines and warships. The resulting product was the 1006 Navy chair, now a design classic. Subsequently, the U.S. government became the largest purchaser of the 1006 chairs following World War II through the 1970s. Eventually, the end of the cold war marked a significant decrease in the size of the U.S. military, and as a result, sales of the 1006 chair plummeted. In 1998, Buchbinder purchased Emeco and repositioned the company making chairs for architects, designers and retailers.
In 2000 Buchbinder began a close working relation with Philippe Starck. Together, they developed series of products, including the Hudson, designed for the Hudson Hotel. According to Starck, “It’s an attempt to remain faithful to the Emeco spirit. The styling is meant to be very pure, very reductive. If one can say of such a beautiful chair, it’s understated.” In 2001, the Hudson chair won the GOOD Design Award and was accepted into the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.