Happy Birthday, Moleskinerie! A Message from Moleskine.

As we celebrate Moleskinerie’s fourth birthday, we have an exciting announcement about our Moleskinerie community.  Moleskine belongs to all – to its publisher but equally, and more importantly, to its community of friends and supporters.  Moleskinerie is a truly unique... Read More

11/01/2008

Moleskine Musings

Being social animals, human beings tend to allow their better judgement to be stampeded by the crowd’s impulses. This applies not only to the followers of trends, but their critics: the bigger the icon, the bigger the kudos accorded those... Read More

This
is really where the trouble starts. Coupled with their good looks (the
Moleskine is a very attractive notebook), the cachet of the artists and
writers essentially providing endorsements for them gave Moleskine
notebooks the jumpstart they needed. It’s important to note that the
kind of person who will spend time looking for the perfect notebook is
generally the classic "early adopter" so beloved of computer technology
companies, and I suspect they (we) are perhaps more vulnerable to the
lure of the Moleskine’s whispered promises."Buy me," it seems to say,
"and you too can be inspired to write like Hemingway."

Marketing does not fool us, exactly; it hands us the lines
we feed ourselves. Seduction is something we allow to happen, and investing objects
with mysterious power is an old trap. We want to believe that possessing these
items is what will give us power, or wealth, or inspiration; we want to deny
that ‘genius’ is a label we apply to those who are both supremely gifted and
work harder than anyone else. Olympic athletes have a genetic makeup that makes
them suited for their chosen sport, but this is at best a starting point;
potential will always go unfulfilled unless it is accompanied by a daily grind of
back-breaking labour. Nobody wants to hear this; it’s not a cheering message.
The idea that we simply lack some talisman, owned by those whose powers we aspire
to possess, is a far more attractive one.

The story so far: early adopters are drawn in by a combination of factors, one
of which is the mystique evoked by Modo e Modo’s marketing copy; the cult of
the Moleskine grows, and they begin to crop up in a multitude of stationery,
art and book shops, helped along by distribution agreements with several major
chain bookstores (Barnes and Noble, Waterstone’s). Enter the critics, with the
message that Moleskine fans are clearly being taken for the proverbial ride, Hemingway
and Chatwin never bought Modo e Modo products, and that the talismanic
qualities that are (implicitly or explicitly) being appealed to do not, in fact, exist.