A Jolt of Enlightenment at the New Moleskine Cafe

By Erin M. Loewe

Photo by Michele Morosi

Moleskine, the Italian purveyor of chic notebooks and sundries, is expanding its business with a new Moleskine Café, centrally located in Milan’s Brera Design District. The 1,291-sq.-ft., two-level space offers food, coffee, retail and exhibit space for those inspired to create using Moleskine products.

Opened in July, Moleskine Café is modeled after the literary cafés of the Enlightenment era, where artists and thinkers would gather to share ideas and stories, according to Arrigo Berni, CEO of Moleskine.

“We’ve been toying with the idea of a café for quite some time,” Berni says. “After our first pilot Moleskine Café in [the] Geneva Airport, we teamed up with international brand agency Interbrand to create this new retail concept. They have supported us throughout the design and development process. Now that our café in Milan has opened, we are eager to learn from it and prepare to take the format to other global cities worldwide.”

Taking design cues from its iconic notebooks, the inside of the café features contemporary, clean lines and a neutral color palette. Floor-to-ceiling windows scale the front, providing an abundance of natural light.

Besides fine notebooks and accessories, customers can also purchase Moleskine-branded packaged coffee in the café. The company had Milan-based coffee roaster Sevengrams collaborate with illustrator Michelle Tranquillini to create Coffee Stories, a banded paper sleeve that fits around each package and tells the story of a different place, culture and roasting tradition.

“For some, the café will be a home away from home; for others, it will be an office away from the office,” Berni explains. “Just like our notebooks, planners and other objects, it is really up to you to use it as best fits your purpose.”


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