Before he died at the age of 90, Ettore Sottsass worked with Emeco on his last chair- the Nine-0.
The inspiration was Sottsass own Navy chair in his Milan apartment-but this time with a soft polyurethane seat and back and with or without the classic “Sottsass” arm.
Emeco's owner Gregg Buchbinder first met Ettore Sottsass at The Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. "The minute we met, Ettore told me he was an admirer of the Navy chair and in fact wished he had designed it. And we agreed, why not re- design it," remembers Gregg. "I had seen Sottsass' projects in Domus magazine over the years – the Esprit stores, the Amazon Express yacht - in which he had used our chair.
When Gregg and Sottsass met again when Sottsass was 87 years old, he said, “Gregg, we’d better get that chair done pretty soon.” The Nine-O was launched at Salone del Mobile in Milan in 2008 a few months after Sottsass passed away at the age of 90.
"Ettore was the first designer who took our chairs out of their typical environments - navy ships, prisons, hospitals - to use them in contemporary interior design projects. Through him Sir Terence Conran, Frank Gehry and Philippe Starck discovered the Emeco chair creating resurgence in the 1990's. It was only right to commission him to celebrate Emeco's resurrection with a new collection." - Gregg Buchbinder