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Head of marketing at Akante Victoire Dauviau Lambert:

'Standing out in contemporary furniture is challenging’

Established in 2012 by Olivier Vanhaecke and Olivier Tocino, the French furniture company Akante was born out of a shared passion for design and industry innovation. The duo envisioned transforming the realm of contemporary furniture by offering distinct products that deviated from the general choice in France at the time. ‘In their home in France there was a lot of the same furniture. Everyone had the same table, the same chair’, says Victoire Dauviau Lambert, head of communications and marketing at Akante. In an interview she shares insights into the company's journey, innovations and future plans.

Victoire Dauviau Lambert at the Brussels Furniture Fair

Over the years, the brand has steadily expanded its presence, aiming to provide a different narrative in contemporary furniture. Focusing on the professional market, Akante positioned itself as a B2B enterprise. ‘This is a strategy we want to keep, but we are also working with brand corners in shops’, Victoire explains. Collaborating with their clients, they create shop-in-shops with Akante’s bestselling products. ‘At the end of this year we are going to have 20 corners and the goal for 2024 is to have 40 to 50 corners in France or in other countries.’ By creating brand corners within existing stores the brand hopes to enhance visibility and brand recognition. ‘We also want to create some exclusive products, just for the brand corner.’ Although this concept hasn't been implemented yet, it's a development Akante is planning for 2024.

Founders Olivier Vanhaecke and Olivier Tocino

Product development
The innovation-centric approach at Akante revolves around their distinctive mechanisms that extend or adjust the height of tables. This distinguishes their products in the furniture market. Victoire highlighted that three in-house designers develop and test new mechanisms. The Luna dining table, for instance, embodies this philosophy. It was first created in 2016 and features a hidden mechanism beneath the table top, which, when activated, transforms the table into a circle. ‘Standing out in contemporary furniture is challenging, but our innovative approach and mechanisms allow us to elevate the brand above others.’

The company's direction heavily relies on client feedback and demand. Victoire emphasised their commitment to balancing client requests and production limitations, often navigating a delicate compromise to create products that align with customer preferences. ‘If they want to see something a certain way, we listen to them and we create it. We always think about how we are able to make something. Our end goal is to make something that’s both functional and beautiful.’

The Auguste Table with Doro marble ceramic

An example of this is Akante’s new ceramic collection. During the Brussels Furniture Fair Akante received positive feedback from its customers. Victoire elaborates: ‘We have two new ceramics: the Doro and Fiorentino marble ceramic. Clients appreciated its resemblance to marble while being durable, strong, thermoresistant, scratch-resistant, and resistant to deformation.’

Future outlook
Looking ahead, Akante remains dedicated to continuous innovation. When asked about new products launching in 2024, Victoire answered: ‘It’s in progress, so I can’t tell you exactly what we are working on. We will launch our new products at trade shows next year. But I can tell you that new mechanisms are the DNA of the brand and we are working on a new mechanism of the Orlando Lift table. With a simple lever you move the table top up and down to the height that you want. Clients appreciated the new mechanism at the trade show in Brussels. Maybe we will put it on other products, to see if it works or not.’ Akante plans to attend the trade shows imm Cologne, Maison&Objet and the Brussels Furniture Fair, where the latest products will be revealed sometime this year.

The Orlando Lift Table

More information:
45/1 Avenue de Flandre
59290 Wasquehal, France
+33 (0)3 20 90 34 18
[email protected]