September 20 2010
On my twice- or thrice-yearly trips to Milan for design shows and interviews, I’d always pop into the Pineider store on via Manzoni to stock up on stationery and organiser inserts for my baby blue Pineider leather organiser – as cute as Smythson, but in my Italophile eyes a good deal more exotic. But then five years ago the company collapsed, the Manzoni store was sold off, and I was temporarily Pineiderless.
In the five years since, much has happened. A new CEO, Alberto Bollini, and his wife Arianna bought the company out of administration and have put their family and friends to task bringing the brand back up to scratch. In the meantime we have seen the arrival of the iPhone and the now ubiquitous portable electronic diaries, but I’m old-fashioned – I think everyone needs a hard copy diary/notebook/birthday book, and there’s something about these leather goods, made in Italy since 1774, that beats technology hands down.
One of Pineider’s key moves has been to launch an online shop, which services the US and UK, and ships small quantities (even just my organiser inserts, from €3) affordably. So Pineider’s growing range of paper (personalised stationery will be available from next month) and leather goods is available to us all without the need for a trip to Harrods, the main UK stockist. The new Milan flagship (first picture), however, all smart, streamlined black and white marble, is still worth a visit.
Second picture: large Power Elegance organiser, €400.