In 2004, Jerome Lepert, an industrial archaeologist, discovered the manufacturing tools and moulds left abandoned at the former Nicolle operation near Paris. Founded in 1913 by Paul-Henry Nicolle, the steel stools had been a hallmark of industrial France. Changing times, workplace regulations, and tastes had slowly eroded production and operations were shuttered in 1999.
Recognizing a modern design demand for well-worn production techniques and retro style, Lepert et al meticulously restored the presses and tools. The Nicolle name and all its models were registered as trademarks. Soon, the minimalist Nicolle stools fit in hip restaurants, bars, bistros, and private homes all over the world.