Moleskine (Italian pronunciation: [mɔleˈskiːne]) is an Italian manufacturer, papermaker and product designer founded in 1997 by Maria Sebregondi, based in Milan, Italy. It produces and designs luxury notebooks, and also includes planners, journals, sketchbooks, leather backpacks, wallets and various accessories and stationery.
Moleskine's notebooks are stylised to follow the aesthetics of a 'traditional' black notebook with rounded corners and ivory-colored paper. They are bound in cardboard with a sewn spine that allows the notebook to lie flat. An elastic band is used to seal, and a ribbon bookmark are identifiable along with an expandable pocket inside the rear cover which is packed in a paper banderole.
The name Moleskine does not have an official pronunciation in any other language except Italian. The company claims it is a "brand name with undefined national identity".
In the mid-1990s, co-founder Maria Sebregondi pitched the idea of resurrecting the iconic notebooks to the company Modo & Modo who were deeply impressed despite the shelves of stationery stores already being stocked with blank books at the time. As a result, Modo & Modo trademarked the Moleskine brand and began production of 5,000 notebooks, officially reintroducing them in 1997. 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 and sales of €20M ($26M) in MIlan. 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. At that time, it was reported that the company’s small staff was unable to keep up with demand. 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.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 now Moleskine SpA.
In March 2013 the company announced an IPO at the Borsa Italiana.By July 2012, Moleskine collections were distributed in 22,000 stores across 95 countries.
Device covers are available that emulate the trademarked notebooks.
In August 2012 Moleskine partnered with Evernote to produce a digital-friendly notebook with specially designed pages and stickers for smartphone syncing. In October the same year, Moleskine forayed into print on demand with Photo Books, collaboration with publisher Milk that lets users upload their own photos into a Moleskine notebook-style album.