Notes on an international vintage story

Moleskine notebooks have long held the ideas and sketches of a wide range of personalities: artists, writers, philosophers. When something valuable came to mind, moleskine was there to help Ernest Hemingway  and Vincent Van Gogh set down their thoughts in words and images. Just think about Oscar Wilde writing down notes for his next book or Pablo Picasso sketching out the beginnings of a masterpiece


moleskine vintage italian notebook

A classic plain Moleskine notebook


The legendary notebook, with the simple, but sturdy and travel-ready design was born in France at the turn of the century.  In the early 20th century it was  the journal of choice for artists and yet, by the 1980s, it was almost impossible to buy the little black book.

In Bruce Chatwin’s 1986 novel “The Songlines” a stationary shop owner declares that the real Moleskine no longer exists, “Le vrai Moleskine n’ est plus.”  Reading that line almost 10 years later, Italian Maria Sebregondi made it her goal to bring the Moleskine back into production.



moleskine vintage italian notebook | sketches

Moleskine notebooks have long been used by travellers | Image Jessica C

moleskine vintage italian notebook | sketches

Artist Anna Rusakova's Moleskine scrapbook


While today the Moleskine is once again a cultural icon thanks to its Italian manufacturer, it always takes me back to the past. It makes me think of a time when creativity and ideas prevailed over progress and income, a time when people did not have electronic devices and so their curiosity found other avenues of exploration.


Moleskine art by Filip Peraic on Behance

Moleskine art by Mattias Adolfsson on Behance



These notebooks live in our time and manage to compete with the latest technology, such as iPhones and iPads. They are small and handy, so you can take them with you anywhere just by dropping them in your pocket or your handbag. While some people prefer their new technological devices, those of us who want to share the experience of great authors and artists will surely opt for the Moleskine notebook. Although, if you think the advantages of the Moleskine would be best in electronic form, there is  now an app for that!  A virtual Moleskine on your iPhone, what would Picasso and Chatwin think?


Moleskine at a caffe - a classic combination | Image Emiliano