Philippe Starck was one of the first designers to take the Navy chair out of its original context and place it into modern design-focused settings. Emeco's Gregg Buchbinder was in the audience at a speech Philippe Starck gave at ICFF in New York in 1999. Later in the hallway Gregg saw Starck and said, “Mr. Starck, thank you for using our chairs at the Paramount Hotel.” After thinking a moment, Starck asked, “The Navy Chair? Do you own the company? I thought it was owned by a bunch of army guys. I’d like to design a chair for Emeco.” Thus began a close, lasting and prolific relationship between Emeco and Philippe Starck - a relationship that launched Emeco's transformation from a U.S. Navy supplier into one of the top design furniture brands.
The Hudson Chair by Philippe Starck, created for the Hudson Hotel NYC, was the first new design for Emeco in more than 50 years. Starck had the Emeco craftsmen learn a new skill - hand polishing. Starck continued designing for Emeco and created the Emeco Stool, Kong Chair, Heritage Stacking Chair, and Icon Chair. In 2012 Emeco and Starck collaborated on the Broom Chair, which is made of 90% reclaimed industrial waste.