DWR is proud to be a member of Be Original Americas, joining Alessi, Cassina, Emeco, Flos, Fritz Hansen, Herman Miller®, Vitra and other companies in the fight against counterfeit design. Being a member means that we’re a vetted retailer of authentic goods.
Gregg Buchbinder surrounded by Su Stools designed by Nendo for Emeco.
This month’s Be Original profile is of Gregg Buchbinder, president and CEO of Emeco, the Pennsylvania-based company that’s been responsibly making built-to-last furniture in America since 1944.
Q: Why is Be Original important?
A: Be Original Americas is working to inform and educate people about the importance of original design. Be Original also enlightens the public about the negatives of knock-offs and ways to identify them in the marketplace.
Q: Have Emeco products been knocked off?
A: Yes, and I have been very aggressive about taking legal action against companies selling knock-offs of our products. The most high-profile lawsuit and result was our action against Restoration Hardware, which was settled to our satisfaction.
Q: Who is your favorite architect?
A: I’m still stunned by the beauty and originality of Frank Gehry’s Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. This original radical concept by Gehry changed the way architects think and changed Bilbao’s economy with its astounding success.
Q: What are you reading?
A: The Responsible Company by Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia. Chouinard is an inspiration for me as I work to reduce Emeco’s environmental footprint and use overlooked – and often wasted – resources to create chairs that have a long life.
The new Broom Stool by Philippe Starck for Emeco is made from 90% industrial waste.
Q: What makes you an original?
A: Emeco is one of the original originals! Emeco started making the Navy Chair in 1944 with a unique 77-step process to meet the U.S. Navy standards of strength, light weight and noncorrosiveness. We still make our chairs the same way in the same place – Hanover, Pennsylvania.
Learn more about how Emeco is working with Coca-Cola and making the world a better place to live, one 111 Navy Chair at a time.
Read other Be Original profiles:
Christian Grosen Rasmussen, head of design at Fritz Hansen
Sandy Chilewich, industrial designer
Ben Watson, executive creative director of Herman Miller
Jessica Hicks, president of Vitra North America
Jan Vingerhoets, CEO of Flos