There was a time prior to the PC when business people carried a designer pen in their pocket or purses to take notes with, because a clear Bic pen was considered plebian. Then came the PC and beautiful pens took a back seat to pecking away on a keyboard. For several years, we have written many posts lauding the importance of snail mail (2009) as a way to differentiate yourself.
The not so new concept of handwriting is back! This rare form of expression in the ever rapidly moving digital age is becoming popular again. The power pen is back along with exquisite stationary, desktop accessories, notebooks, and papers.
We noticed this trend in late October, when we wandered into Fabriano Boutique on Via del Babuino in Rome. The store was crowded with both locals and tourists, who were lining up at the cash register. We joined the line with a box of red metallic round paper clips.
Premier luxury brands have jumped in to the fray with Hermes introducing its first ever pen called the Nautilus for $1,670. It has a 10 carat white gold nib (the ink is extra) and is made of aluminum. Louis Vuitton has followed suit with their version as well as desk accessories.
Of course, there are less expensive choices to be had that have the designer look and feel. No doubt knock offs will proliferate the market. What is remarkable from a commercial real estate aspect is that the not so popular stationary stores of old that limited their square footage to 400 are now tripling in size.
Personally, I (Alexandra). have always loved pens and stationary. One of my treasured possessions is a gift of two pens that my mother gave my father as a present. She gave it to him so that he would write her letters as he took off for a big job in Saudi Arabia.