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Better Taste in Life: Moleskine

Ernest Hemingway sitting alone at a café in Paris in 1920, he wrote this down on his notebook, “You belong to me, the whole Paris belongs to me, but I belong to the pencil I’m holding and the notebook.” That notebook Hemingway referred to was Moleskine.

Moleskine (pronounced mol-a-skeen’-a) originally meant ‘mole’s skin’ in French was a legendary notebook in the 20th century, notable for being owned by European artists and intellectuals. Famous painter, Vincent Van Gogh had used 7 Moleskine notebooks to draw and sketch numerous drafts and is now collection of Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam. This legendary brand of notebook has been passed on for 100 years, notable artists and thinkers like French painter, Henri Matisse, contemporary maestro Pablo Picasso, Father of surrealism, Andre Breton were all users of Moleskine. Their priceless manuscripts, notes, thoughts and trivial matters in life were all documented in this little notebook.

Moleskine could be said to be the most notable brand of notebook in the world. Originally manufactured by a family corporation in France in 19th century and was already popular by the artists and authors alike. However, it was closed down and ceased production in 1986 which was great regret to many avid fans. Fortuantely, a Milan publisher, Modo&Modo Spa decided to bring it back to life. It retained all the details of traditional heritage, such as durable cover, dense sewn spine, ivory-colored paper and elastic binders and gave Moleskine its unique characteristics. Mokeskine’s legacy got to pass on to this day and won the title of the ‘Louis Vuitton’ equivalent in the notebook world.

Speaking of Moleskine, one must bring up renowned British travel writer and poet, Bruce Chatwin. Before he embarked on another new journey, he would purchase enough Moleskine notebooks to document everything in his trips. It was his travel necessity and also why Moleskine carries such rich travel zest to it. He once said, “Losing my passport is hardly a thing to worry but if I lose my notebook, that’d be a grave tragedy.” Chatwin worried so much about losing his notebooks that he wrote his name and at least two addresses in two different countries on the inner page and promised that “If you find this notebook and return to me, you will be rewarded.” Later on, it became a signature feature of Moleskine of which you could fill in the reward amount in the notebook.

For Gamanians who are not familiar with this brand, as a pointer, you could look for traces of Moleskine in movie and fashion industry. Meryl Streep was waving a Moleskine around and bossed around in the movie, The Devil Wears Prada’ while Anne Hathaway wrote Streep’s every demand on that little notebook. Moleskine also made appearance in other notable films such as the Da Vinci Code, Amelie, Gus Van Sant’s Paranoid Park. In addition to documenting life, Moleskine also acts as a crucial key in conveying style and life attitude.

For consumers, notebooks may merely be a kind of expandable and therefore it may be hard to establish brand loyalty. Notebook business owners tend not to conduct promotion campaigns and marketing, however, Moleskine thinks otherwise. You could see its ambition from this series of commercials. It is trying to establish a concept that the life that Moleskine documents is ‘tasteful’ and ‘worthy of indulgence’. Although these commercials are only available online, you could still see this old brand is trying to cleave a niche path in the competitive stationary market.  

Where writing takes youMoleskine mini    

Source of information

1. Topys http://www.topys.cn
2. Ipevo http://www.ipevo.com.tw/dept/Moleskine?cate=brand_story
3. Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/terrie/6471822823/sizes/l/in/photostream
4. Moleskine Asia  http://www.moleskineasia.com      

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About Author  

gamaniabrandcenter

A blog jointly written by members of Gamania brand center provides insights and observation about brand, marketing and design by designers, project drafters, musicians, exhibition planners, creative minds and aliens…

Blog: gamaniabrandcenter.blogspot.com

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