Expanding to New Horizons With Indie Moscot


Zack Moscot and Harvey Moscot, OD, outside Moscot Melrose.
NEW YORK—New York is Moscot’s DNA. The brand was founded in 1915 at 94 Rivington Street, in New York’s Lower East Side, by Hyman Moscot, who had been selling eyeglasses from a pushcart on nearby Orchard Street for nearly 20 years. In that time, the brand has established four locations in their native New York. But they didn’t stop there; New York is just the beginning for Moscot. Today, the brand, which is led by fourth-generation Harvey Moscot, OD, CEO, and fifth-generation Zack Moscot, chief design officer, also has locations in Tokyo, Seoul, Rome, Paris, London, and, their only U.S.-based location outside of New York: Moscot Melrose, which opened in Los Angeles this month. The father-son duo oversee the retail expansion together, and with three more openings on the horizon within the next six weeks—two in London and one in Milan—the Moscot family shows no sign of slowing down any time soon.

Moscot Melrose, the most recent expansion of the Moscot independent brand, is an 1,800 square foot space on Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, California. The new shop will showcase the full breadth of the Moscot eyewear collection as well as distinct Moscot touches, such as vintage furniture and artifacts from the family archives. Featuring tin in ceilings made in New York, Moscot Melrose is a continuation of the brand’s New York City identity. In addition, Moscot Melrose will feature The Hall of Moscot Moments, an experiential space that showcases the brand’s legacy and roots, as well as a speakeasy room in the rear of the store.

Moscot’s most recent opening, Moscot Melrose, is the company’s first U.S.-based shop outside of New York. The interior of all Moscot stores takes cues from the brand’s New York City heritage. Moscot locations offer unique experiences, like Moscot Music. Image via MoscotNYC on Instagram

Zack Moscot said, “As a family-owned, 5-Generational, independent eyewear brand, my father and I were drawn to this specific stretch of Melrose Avenue because of its unique mix of establishments spanning from acclaimed comedy clubs, vintage shops, and interesting retail concepts. The Melrose Trading Post, the famous open-air market, is just three blocks from Moscot Melrose and reminds me of our family's humble beginnings when my great-great-grandfather, Hyman Moscot, sold ready-made glasses off a pushcart in the early 1900s when Orchard Street was full of pushcart vendors selling knick-knacks, housewares and food. You won't be able to miss our iconic yellow building emblazoned with the iconic Moscot eyes while driving down Melrose.”

Harvey Moscot, OD, CEO, oversees Moscot Eyecare, the medical
eye health division of
the company. Image via MoscotNYC on Instagram

History is at the heart of the Moscot brand. Image via MoscotNYC on Instagram 


CEO Harvey Moscot, OD, added, “Moscot has always had close ties to the creative arts and the film, TV, and music industry. Many of my former patients and long-time customers of Moscot started their careers while living in the Lower East Side and eventually moved out West. We're thrilled to open our first U.S. shop outside of New York City in West Hollywood and to have found a home on the eclectic Melrose Avenue.”

All of Moscot’s spaces offer unique touches in this way. Most independents cite freedom to go above and beyond as their biggest motivation in approaching independent practice—and the Moscots, although they may be bigger than most, are no different. Today, the Moscot family refers to their brand as “a global community built on neighborhood values.”

On their website, they write, “While now recognized as a global fashion brand, Moscot remains, at heart, a neighborhood optical shop.” Dr. Harvey Moscot oversees Moscot Eyecare, the medical eye health division of the company, himself. With a team of ODs, Moscot Eyecare sees patients seven days a week at the New York City shops.

Moscot’s cohesive brand aesthetic has made them an instantly recognizable brand, a favorite of celebrities and New Yorkers alike. Image via MoscotNYC on Instagram
At home in New York, Moscot keeps things unique with Moscot Music, a program that started in 2004, with Dr. Harvey Moscot, who began playing his guitar to pass some time and entertain on a rainy Saturday. From this casual jam session an institution was born: now, musicians as big as HelloGoodbye have stopped by various Moscot locations to perform. Moscot makes the most of these “Moscot Moments,” as they call them, even dedicating a section of their website to the special moments that make Moscot more than just your neighborhood optical shop.

There is also the Moscot Mobileyes Foundation, created by Dr. Harvey Moscot to “eliminate the barriers to quality medical eyecare by bringing medical treatment directly to those most in need,” the company said.  Anyone can donate their glasses at any Moscot location in New York—in 2017, Moscot was able to provide over 2,000 pairs for New York residents.

Moscot’s own line of frames is central to their business as well—something being independent gives them the freedom to explore. From their famous Lemtosh frame to their various clip-on offerings, Moscot keeps a cohesive brand aesthetic across their frames, accessories, social media presence, and in-store design—building an independent, home-grown brand that is recognizable around the world.