Our history, a family saga

Published : 04/29/2024 10:16:01
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manufacture Pierre KOKThe KOK family had a wickerwork and rattan furniture business in the Netherlands and were already exporting part of their production to France at the very beginning of the 20th century. It was a turbulent time, with the Great Depression shaking up trade. Outlets in France were jeopardised by prohibitive customs duties. The need to move closer to the French market became imperative. Pierre KOK, one of the family's brothers, decided to move to France in 1920/1925.
Fauteuil Bagatelle
"La Vannerie Hollandaise", the name of the first company, sets up in the north of France. Thanks to the support of his brothers back in the Netherlands, supplies of raw materials were assured. The factory supplied baskets to the nearby textile industry and the first woven chairs to peddlers who sold them on all the markets of France.
The "Marcel" armchair, which bears witness to this era, is still a best-seller at KOK MAISON today.

The company grew and by the 1950s/1960s employed around 150 people, not including the still widespread home-based work. The company was now called "KOK et Cie" and sold its products all over France, as well as in most of the major Parisian department stores.
This was the era of the 'coquille' armchair in natural rattan, which we reissued at KOK MAISON in 2015 as the 'Brigitte' armchair in a vintage style.

Pierre KOK's daughter, Annie, who began her career at a very young age working alongside her father, and her husband brought a new spirit to the collection in the 1960s and 1970s, riding the exotic wave. Inspired designers came up with chairs made from "Philippine cane", an elegant name to describe rattan from which the bark has been removed and which can be dyed. Shapes were liberated, volumes were generous, colours exploded, and soft cushions were covered in multicoloured fabrics with tropical motifs. Rattan furniture is entering the home: bedroom, dining room, living room... It's becoming a piece of furniture in its own right.

In the years 1975/1980, a number of international political factors had a major impact on the manufacture of rattan furniture in Europe. The rise in labour costs in France, but above all the freeze on exports of raw materials from Indonesia, forced everyone involved in the industry to relocate production to Asia. Globalisation is on the march! We have been faced with a number of challenges: slowly getting our suppliers of raw materials to produce finished products, and gradually reducing manufacturing in France while retaining control of our creations.

The company took the name KOK DIFFUSION and Tina Lédi, the founder's granddaughter, and her husband went on to shape the company in their own image. The discovery of craftsmen in these faraway lands who had mastered the ancestral skills of weaving, as well as a variety of other natural materials, led them to develop new collections in a more charming spirit: weaving in rattan bark called "Eclisse", weaving in paper twine called "Loom", weaving in grey wicker-style rattan called "Kooboo grey" and finally developing synthetic rattan or "Resin", which imitates the natural material to perfection, but whose technical characteristics make it suitable for outdoor use.

For over 30 years, they have been developing light, robust and comfortable woven furniture that has found its place in conservatories, holiday homes and now gardens, thanks to rot-proof materials.

The story continues with Tina Ledi's daughter, Marion, who has taken her turn to integrate the company by creating the ORCHID EDITION project, which is in line with the idea of passing on and continuing the family history. It has been conceived and designed for the new generation, with a range of rattan furniture created in collaboration with French designers....

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