In the early 21st century there was a new pulse of interest shown to the classic Moleskine notebook. What was even more interesting about this was that the sudden, excited talk of Moleskines was between different groups of people, especially the younger generation.
“It was as if they were rediscovering the pleasure of direct experience, of going around writing things down by hand,” says Maria Sebregondi, the brain-power behind the resurrection of the Moleskine notebook.
According to his book Niche, James Harkin speaks of the creative and innovative Maria Sebregondi, who in 1995 had been helping out a company in Milan called Modo & Modo. She had been asked by the founder of Modo & Modo to come with ideas to make the company grow.
At the time Maria had been reading a book, The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin. Chatwin, a travel writer from England, spoke of notebooks that he used to purchase in Paris every time he travelled there. These notebooks were called moleskines – hard covered, bound in cloth treated with oil, with squared paper and the end-papers held in place by an elastic band.
Chatwin writes in The Songlines, ‘I had numbered them in series. I wrote my name and address on the front page, offering a reward to the finder. To lose a passport was the least of one’s worries: to lose a notebook was a catastrophe.’ On one of Chatwin’s trips to Paris he had heard that the moleskines had become harder to get hold of. Chatwin wanted to order 100 of his favourite writing companions, but was sadly informed that the manufacturer had died and his successors had sold the company.
‘The real moleskine is gone,’ the French proprietor of Chatwin’s favourite bookshop had said.
Sebregondi was shaken by the retirement of the moleskine notebooks and wanted to bring it back.
She had seen similar notebook that had been used by influential artists like:
• Pablo Picasso
• Henri Matisse
• Ernest Hemingway
• André Breton
After presenting her idea to Francesco...