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Coordinates: 45°29′43.6″N 9°10′57.3″E / 45.495444°N 9.182583°E / 45.495444; 9.182583

Moleskine S.p.A.
Società per azioni
Traded as BITMSK
Industry Paper & Paper Products
Founded 1997; 19 years ago (1997)
Headquarters Viale Stelvio 66, 20159, Milan, Italy
Area served
Key people
  • Paper Collections
  • Writing, travel and reading accessories)
Number of employees
363[3] (2015)
  • Moleskine America, Inc
  • Moleskine Asia Ltd.
  • Moleskine Germany GmbH
Inside view of a Moleskine ruled notebook; the elastic band is visible on the right, as is the bookmark in the center.

Moleskine S.p.A is an Italian manufacturer of luxury notebooks and other paper products, founded in 1997 by the Italian designer Maria Sebregondi in Milan, Italy.[4] Moleskine production also includes planners, diaries, sketchbooks, and since 2011, leather goods such as backpacks, wallets and various accessories and stationery.

The name Moleskine does not have an official pronunciation. The company claims it is a "brand name with undefined national identity".[5] The Italian pronunciation is [mɔleˈskiːne].

Moleskine's line of notebooks are stylised to follow the aesthetics of a 'traditional' black notebook with rounded corners and ivory-coloured paper. They are typically bound in coated paper cardboard with a sewn spine that allows for the notebook to lie flat when open. An elastic band, used to secure when closed, and a ribbon bookmark are also identifiable characteristics along with an expandable pocket inside the rear cover which is packed in a paper banderole.


Moleskine notebooks are the spiritual successors of, and as a result share likenesses to, notebooks that were popular in Paris during the 19th and 20th centuries, handmade by small French bookbinders who supplied the local stationery shops. Around the turn of the 20th century, some notable users of similar black notebooks include Oscar Wilde, Vincent van Gogh, Pablo Picasso, Ernest Hemingway and Henri Matisse.

The present Moleskine notebook is fashioned after Bruce Chatwin's descriptions of the notebooks he used in his travels. The name itself, "Moleskine", is a nickname that Chatwin uses in one of his most celebrated writings, The Songlines (1986).[6] In this book, Chatwin tells the story of his original supplier of notebooks, a Paris stationer who in 1986 informed him that the last notebook manufacturer, a small family-run firm in Tours, had discontinued production that year, after the death of the owner. "Le vrai Moleskine n’est plus" ("The real Moleskine is no more") is a phrase coined by Chatwin to be said by the owner of the stationery shop in Rue de l’Ancienne Comédie.

In the mid-1990s, co-founder Maria Sebregondi pitched the idea of resurrecting the iconic notebooks to the Italian company Modo & Modo who were deeply impressed despite the shelves of stationery stores already being stocked with blank books at the time.[1][7] As a result, Modo & Modo trademarked the Moleskine brand and began production of 5,000 notebooks, officially reintroducing them in 1997.[8] In 1998, Modo & Modo were producing 30,000 notebooks a year and expanded their market, distributing their products across the continent. By the 2000s Modo & Modo SpA had a small staff in Milan and sales of 20M ($26M).[1] In 2004, Moleskine notebooks arrived in Japan, and from there, distribution to the rest of Asia began.

In 2006, the company was purchased by the European private equity firm now known as Syntegra Capital.[1] At that time, it was reported that the company’s small staff was unable to keep up with demand.[9] In August 2006, the French investment fund Société Générale Capital purchased Modo & Modo SpA, and invested in its expansion. The company name changed to Moleskine Srl.

2011 saw Moleskine extend its production to new categories with writing, reading, and travelling collections, launched at the Milan Design Week.[10] Most of the objects in these new collections were designed by Italian industrial designer Giulio Iacchetti, and focused more on accessories surrounding reading and writing than paper goods. Moleskine has become a joint-stock company and is therefore now called Moleskine SpA.[8]

In March 2013 the company announced that it will go public at the Milan, Italy, stock exchange.

By July 2012, Moleskine collections were distributed in 22,000 stores across 95 countries.

Production and quality[edit]

Moleskine notebook

Moleskine items are designed in Italy with most of them being printed, stitched, and assembled in China due to the quality of their raw materials and the expertise displayed as a result of their history of paper making[11] though has been criticised by members of the community of Moleskine users.[12][13]

Since 2008, certain components have been manufactured in other countries, such as large variants of Volant, Cahiers and Folio hard covers in Turkey, watercolour paper in France some components in Vietnam.[11] Moleskine claims to invest considerable resources in the research of ever-new potential suppliers, according to criteria of quality, price, logistics and fairness. Details printed on the external label band indicate production details and each item has a unique quality control number assigned which can be quoted should there be a fault.[14] All suppliers are selected after careful screening about quality standards.[11] Labour and environmental fairness criteria are included in specific clauses of all suppliers’ agreements.

The paper used in Moleskine products is Forest Stewardship Council certified and is acid free. Since August 2010, all new Moleskine products, offered to retailers in California and throughout the world, comply with The Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986.[15] After concerns were raised in 2008 about the presence of PVC in some notebooks, all items are now PVC-free.[16]


Moleskine is a brand supported by worldwide communities of enthusiasts who write, sketch, paint and draw on Moleskine notebooks. Communities often share images of decorated pages through blogs, social networks or photo and video sharing sites as well as Moleskine's own service MyMoleskine.

These communities have grown independently but have gained recognition from Moleskine and is a growing focus of attention for them.[17] According to Maria Sebregondi, Moleskine highly values the opinions of Moleskine users, replies personally to everyone through customer care and is in direct contact with various Moleskine communities.


Device covers are available that emulate the trademark look and feel of the notebooks.[18]

In August 2012 Moleskine partnered with Evernote to produce a digital-friendly notebook with specially designed pages and stickers for smartphone syncing.[19] In October the same year, Moleskine forayed into print on demand with Photo Books, a collaboration with publisher Milk that lets users upload their own photos into a Moleskine notebook-style album.[20]

See also[edit]

Field Notes (brand)


  1. ^ a b c d Martin, Claire (18 April 2015). "Moleskine Notebooks Adapt to the Digital World". The New York Times. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Annual Report". Moleskine. 31 December 2015. p. 27. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  3. ^ "Annual Report". Moleskine. 31 December 2015. p. 118. Retrieved 30 June 2016. 
  4. ^ Raphel, Adrienne (14 April 2014). "The Virtual Moleskine". The New Yorker. Retrieved 20 April 2015. 
  5. ^ "How to Pronounce the Name Moleskine". 
  6. ^ Chatwin, Bruce (1988). The Songlines. Penguin. p. 161. ISBN 0-14-009429-6. 
  7. ^ Harkin, James (6 December 2004). "Resurrecting Moleskine Notebooks". Newsweek. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  8. ^ a b "About Us". Moleskine. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  9. ^ Horowitz, Jason (26 October 2004). "Does a Moleskine Notebook Tell the Truth?". International Herald Tribune. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  10. ^ Relaxnews (14 April 2011). "Moleskine expands into reading and travelling, presents new bags and stationery in Milan". The Independent. Retrieved 28 January 2015. 
  11. ^ a b c "Moleskine Quality". Moleskine. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  12. ^ Nifty (26 November 2012). "Moleskine Monday: A Comparison and Complaint!". Notebook Stories. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  13. ^ "Moleskinerie: Moleskines made in China". Google Groups. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  14. ^ "Quality Control". Moleskine. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  15. ^ "State of California Proposition65 Labeling Law". Moleskine. Retrieved 29 April 2012. 
  16. ^ "Moleskine Spring 12 Catalogue". Moleskine. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  17. ^ Walters, Helen (11 May 2007). "Moleskine Blogs the Little Black Book". Business Week. Retrieved 25 April 2012. 
  18. ^ "Moleskine Provides the iPad Cover Up With its New Tablet Case". 2 July 2012. Retrieved 28 January 2016. 
  19. ^ "Evernote Moleskine notebook review: When digital and analog elegantly collide", The Next Web, 20 October 2012.
  20. ^ "Moleskine and Milk’s Personalized Photo Books Are Unsurprisingly Sleek", 2 October 2012.

External links[edit]