Real V’s Replica | Gregg Buchbinder

  • CF010309 ©TobyScott

    Inside Issue #9 we show you how to spot the difference between a real and replica Emeco 1006 Navy Chair. Gregg Buchbinder, CEO of Emeco, the family business responsible for producing this design icon, kindly gives us a little more insight into the Emeco story and his thoughts on the Real V’s Replica.

    CF010309 ©TobyScott
    LEFT The 1006 Navy Chair PHOTO Toby Scott  | RIGHT Emeco CEO Gregg Buchbinder
    We hear you’re a whizz at elevator pitches… how would you quickly convince an Est Magazine reader (who may not be an architect or design aficionado) to purchase real over replica. 

    When you buy an authentic Emeco you are buying something that has taken over 6 decades to perfect, something where you can be sure that every step in the elaborate 77 step process has been followed to the T, something that only uses the correct materials as originally specified by chemists and engineers, something you can pass down to your children and grandchildren.

    In every issue of Est Magazine we share with our readers ways to spot an authentic design at ten paces. What special attributes should a 1006 Navy Chair buyer look for to identify an authentic model?

    To spot an authentic Emeco chair you can see the smooth bends where the soft aluminum is curved, the consistent brush pattern always applied the same way, the perfectly tapered front legs, the even spread of the three vertical bars for the seat back, the Emeco name on the back of the seat bottom and finally you can see the three small welds left by the craftsmen as their signature on every 1006 Navy chair.

    Are there anything poignant details about the Emeco logo which appears on a sticker and engraved on the back of the seat? Has it always it appeared in this fashion on all models?

    In year 2000, a graphic designer from Paris called Marc Atlan was invited to visit Emeco and help update our identity and look. Marc selected an industrial font – Eurostyle and created something both modern and classic.

    Can you tell us a little more about the Patent number and the 4 digit codes engraved on the underside of the Navy Chair. Have they always been part of the process and appeared in particular positions or is this a recent addition? 

    The 4 digit code is how the Emeco factory tracks when a chair was made.

    Congratulations on your recent settlement with Restoration Hardware. Sadly there are so many other knock-off Navy Chairs on the replica market. What next? More litigation? And what can we do to further support your cause?

    Knowledge and education is really key, making people aware what it takes to make a product last. Opening up and transparently talk about all steps of the manufacturing process is relevant if we care to make a difference.

    What project are you working on right now and can you tell us a little bit about it?

    We were just at Milan Furniture Fair, the annual Salone del Mobile and we will be at the ICFF in New York on the 18th of May to present the new Parrish Collection by Konstantin Grcic for Emeco.

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