Many famous people have used the type of notebook that inspired the Moleskine brand, including these four famous Moleskine users.
The Moleskine brand is a relatively new player, coming on the scene in 1997 when Modo & Modo started producing small, notebooks with simple covers, sewn spines elastic bands, and bookmarks. Yet though the brand is new, the Moleskine-style notebook has a rich and vibrant history.
Non-spiral notebooks in the tradition of the Moleskine have been popular with artists, scientists, and authors for centuries, and the company simply put a brand name on what has followed many of the greatest minds in the world.
Moleskine got its name from one of its famous users. The original notebooks used by Bruce Chatim had an oiled-skin cover that he called a Moleskine. These are not made from “moleskin” but the name stuck.
Over the past 200 years, many famous Moleskine users have made their mark on the literary and artistic worlds using notebooks similar to what the Moleskine brand makes today. If you are in the market for a new notebook, you may be wondering what makes the Moleskine brand so distinctive.
Here is a closer look at what makes these books so special and some of the famous people who books like them to record their own thoughts and art.
Why do Famous Moleskine Users Choose This Brand?
Before looking at a list of famous people who use Moleskine, you may be wondering why a notebook brand has such a strong following. Moleskine originated with French bookbinder in the 19th and 20th centuries. Over the centuries, it has developed into a quality notebook that many creatives consider to be a must-have lifestyle accessory.
Moleskine's contemporary, yet classic style is part of what makes it popular. Every notebook has a bookmark and many have elastic bands to hold them closed. They come in many colors and include hard and soft covered options as well as lined or unlined paper.
Famous Moleskine Users Through the Decades
If you decide to embrace the classic style of Moleskine, you will be among literary and artistic greats. Here are several famous people who used this legendary notebook to record their own ideas.
1. Ernest Hemingway
Ernest Hemingway carried a small black notebook with him to jot down ideas when creativity struck. According to legend, Hemingway once beat a man to death at a bar in Paris using nothing but his Moleskine after the man insulted the notebook's size.
Of course, that is just legend and likely not true, but the story makes it clear the author was passionate about his notebook.
2. Pablo Picasso
Picasso, the legendary painter, is another famous person known to have used a small sketchbook to record his art. Picasso lived long before Moleskine became a brand name, but his small sketchbooks are historically famous.
In fact, one legend says that his Blue Period started when he lost his moleskine covered notebook.
3. Vincent Van Gogh
Van Gogh joins the ranks of famous Moleskine users. Like Picasso, he did not use the Moleskine brand, because it did not exist yet, but he always had a small black notebook with him to sketch in. Eventually, that notebook-style became what today is the Moleskine brand.
Like Hemingway,Van Gogh has a Moleskine legend. rumor has it he cut off his own ear when his favorite stationery shop stopped selling Moleskines.
4. Bruce Chatwin
Australian travel writer Bruce Chatwin could be the inspiration behind the Moleskine brand. In his book The Songlines, Chatwin described a black, oil-cloth-covered notebook with an elastic band that he used to write.
The Moleskines of today follow in the footsteps of the black pocket notebook described by Chatwin.
The Future of Moleskine
With a rich history of people using Moleskine-style notebooks which evolved into the Moleskine brand, Milanese company Modo & Modo has its sights set on the future.
While they will continue to make their popular analog notebooks, with the same avant-garde people have come to expect, they are also looking ahead to the future and an increasingly digital world.
Maria Sebregondi, the co-founder of Modo & Modo, addresses the digital age and its potential effect on Moleskine. In an interview with Financial Times, she said:
“Our ideas are more tangible and real when we can see them physically. A pile of notebooks recalls the sense of thought, concentration, the memory of a project. Everything you don't see in a digital device.”
Still, Moleskine is coming into the digital age. In 2011, it started making hardware devices along with Evernote, so users could take notes and doodle sketches in a digital format.
They also have iPad covers that follow the Moleskine signature style, while still focusing on the notebooks that make them a world-renowned brand.
A Final Word on Famous Moleskine Users
Moleskine has quite a following and a rich heritage. Today, creative individuals want to follow in the footsteps of names they know like Hemingway and Picasso, and to do so they visit stationery stores in search of their own Moleskine notebooks.
Even with the digital age and the pandemic affecting the world, Moleskine remains true to its heritage, continuing to produce notebooks small and flexible enough to fit in a back pocket, so creatives always have the ability to jot down their ideas, no matter where their travels take them.
FAQs About Famous Moleskine Users
What is so special about Moleskine notebooks?
Moleskine notebooks are small notebooks that you can toss in a backpack, pocket or briefcase to jot down ideas as you go about your life. They have high-quality materials and are never spiral-bound. Their semi-hard vinyl covers mean they can hold up well even when stuffed in a back pocket.
Are Moleskine notebooks worth it?
If you are in need of a handy, durable notebook for note-taking and doodling, a Moleskine will do the job well. These notebooks also have paper that absorbs ink well without bleeding through to the next page.