I bookmarked these posts ages ago: Why I stopped using a moleskine (part 1) and (part 2).
I’m always fascinated by the different ways the Moleskine brand has imprinted itself on people, and the passion it can inspire. And as with all great passions, when the love affair ends, equally strong feelings are experienced.
Ming recalls his first Moleskine, given to him by his mother and used while traveling:
I was sold. And by the end of my 3 week trip to England my new found friend and I would have shared so much.
You know how you get when you just come back from a place, every time some one talks to you, becomes an invitation to repeat some exagerated story about how your trip went! Well you are not alone, for months I went on and on about my trip with my dear hard covered travel buddy.
In those months and a few months beyond that I must have forced hundreds of people to buy moleskines of their own, I believed in my Italian friend.
Ming’s Moleskine “had become part of my identity, and psyche. It was more than a notebook, it was a testament to my creativity, a fashion statement, a mark of quality.
The reason so many people stop sketching or taking notes would often be the inability to find a suitable replacement. Notebooks go out of fashion, or out of stock. but moleskines could be found in their shiny shrink wrap anywhere in the world.
Now I knew that no matter what the little leaflet in the back says, that the moleskine’s artificial legacy was manufactured. Yet I was happy to play a long.
Ming’s disillusionment comes when the cover of a softcover Moleskine tears away from the spine, and he decides he can’t rely on their quality. He also sees them as having become too ubiquitous, and losing their air of exclusivity– they no longer have that elusive appeal that’s not obvious to the uninitiated. “A Moleskine diary for everyone. For everyone?” he asks. “Since when was exclusivity for everyone?”
I guess that’s the fine line many exclusive brands have to be wary of– how do you give your fans the feeling of being in an exclusive club while trying to open that club to as many people as possible? If you’re not careful, the magic can suddenly disappear, as it did for Ming. As of the writing of those posts, he’d switched to Muji notebooks and an iPhone.