MOSCOT is a family-owned and operated New York City institution renowned worldwide for its iconic eyewear. Now being run by its 4th and 5th generation Dr. Harvey Moscot and Zack Moscot. While preserving the brand’s deeply rooted heritage, Zack is dedicated to the longevity of MOSCOT and continues to craft the future of the brand with new ways that work in today’s business world. Looking back to the very first beginning of Moscot, brand founder Hyman Moscot migrated from Eastern Europe to the east coast of the United States. He began selling eyeglasses from a pushcart on Orchard Street in 1899. Having amassed a following of loyal customers, Hyman opened the family’s first shop at 94 Rivington Street in 1915. It has been standing still for 104 years and is hailed as a signature brand from New York. The pushcart is an important symbol which marks the start of everything, and that’s why we can see the icon of a pushcart is a part of the brand logo. MOSCOT infuses its unmistakably refined, downtown aesthetic with over 100 years of eyewear expertise and unparalleled craftsmanship to create its timeless eyewear. While now recognized as a global fashion brand, MOSCOT remains, at heart, a neighborhood optical shop.
Interviewee: Dr. Harvey Moscot
In your whole life of running Moscot, have you ever encountered a moment like you struggled so hard to achieve one thing? Sometimes LIFE forces us to fall back but we fight back with greater strength.
Yes, on September 11th of 2001 when NYC faced one of the most difficult moments in the history of America. This was one of the most difficult moments in the history of our 104 year old business. All of downtown Manhattan was hit hard emotionally and financially, but we were resilient and bounced back as strongly as we could.
Which role do you enjoy the most? Designer, optician or CEO? And why?
I love it all! My favourite thing about running my own family business is that I get to work with my son, Zack, (5th Generation) and we contribute to all aspects of the business. I enjoy overseeing our retail shops, working closely with my son on design and creative, and also making sure the business runs seamlessly across all channels and continents.
What are the three most important milestones in the history of Moscot?
- Turning 100 years old. 2. Opening our first shop outside of America. 3. We will wait and see!
Is there any ongoing project for Moscot? What’s the future plan of the brand?
As we started out over 100 years ago as a NYC retail institution, our roots are strongly ingrained in retail and serving the customer directly. We have aspirations to continue to open MOSCOT Retail Shops and tell our authentic, generational story to the world.
Interviewee: Mr. Zack Moscot:
What are the defining characteristics of the new Moscot Originals collection – both from an aesthetic and technical angle?
The MOSCOT Originals represent the heritage and history of our family legacy. These styles are based on our archives which we have built over the last 100 years and speak to the downtown DNA of our brand. The coolest part is that we use the same traditional hardware and design details, including glass mineral lenses of premium quality and 7 barrel hinges that are the ultimate in strength! Not to mention we offer multiple sizes in the same styles, a nod to our expertise at opticians and specialists in eyewear fit.
Where do you find inspiration to create eyewear?
All around me and especially in our MOSCOT Shops. I spend time in the shops with our customers, seeing who they are and what they are interested in. I get a sense of the style of the people and the vibes of the Lower East Side of NY strongly inspire my designs and sense of style.
As the 5th generation, is there anything you want to change or add for Moscot? How are you going to lead the brand?
I am working strongly on expanding our presence in the digital world. Since our family business started in retail, I am finding ways to expand our direct to consumer channel not only through bricks but also pixels. It is critical we tell our story to our customer the same way my great grandfather Sol did, but there are new ways today to do that!
We know Moscot is a family business. How will you preserve this tradition? What if your son is interested in some other fields but not the optical industry?
It is so important to continue to represent our predecessors in an authentic way and tell the story the way they would want it to be told. We preserve our tradition by respecting our past. I believe that in order to know where we are headed we must understand clearly where we come from.
My father was very open to my creative personality and design instinct and allowed me to join the business through these attributes and skillsets. In the same way, I will be open with the 6th generation and see if there are opportunities to develop new sides of the business and grow in new ways that he or she may have insights into.
Interviewees: Dr. Harvey Moscot & Zack Moscot
Out of all the collections, what is your favourite model?
We really love the LEMTOSH as it is a timeless classic and fits all faces of all types. This frame comes in multiple sizes and colorways and has been a calling card of our brand for generations. #LEMTOSHLegacy!
What do you want to say to the fans of Moscot?
That we appreciate your business! When you wear a pair of MOSCOT you are not only wearing a pair of glasses but instead a piece of history, a piece of family, a piece of downtown New York City!