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Harvey Moscot (4th Generation) and Zack Moscot (5th Generation) share how the MOSCOT legacy lives on after over 100 years — watch & read their candid exchange below!
ZM: My father always says, “The first thing you see on one’s face is a pair of glasses”. You don’t see someone’s shoes first, you might not see their pants first, but their glasses really tell a story, it tells who they are, and it tells the story that they want to tell.
ZM: The downtown Lower East Side is very much a part of who we are and our whole aesthetic and the culture is really the reason why our brand feels and looks a certain way. Through design and our heritage, we’re always incorporating pieces of our past and that’s largely who we are. We never want to forget where we came from and why we’re here today.
HM: We don’t chase trends—just like a good pair of jeans or a white t-shirt. We also provide a service and, I can’t emphasize enough, how important that was to my dad and my grandfather in terms of making the experience when you came to MOSCOT memorable. It was never just purchasing eyeglasses. It was having a special kind of experience and remembering it and knowing our customers.
HM: I worked at MOSCOT throughout my entire teenage years for beer money for the weekends. So my desire to help people and interact with the public was established at a young age. And the merger of healthcare and fashion was always so intriguing to me. That this is one field that really intersected both disciplines.
ZM: I remember telling my mom I didn’t want to join the family business, but as I got older I realized my passion for product and I was really intrigued by how different designs could change the way one feels and that emotional connection, not only to our history, but also how a MOSCOT frame could really transcend different cultures and what that frame meant. It was more than a pair of glasses; it was really a piece of downtown New York and a piece of our history and that was something that I connected with emotionally as well.
HM: When we moved across the street after 78 years on the other side of Delancey Street, in order to get to our Shop you had to walk up this kind of iconic staircase. So we decided to take it and recapture it here in the new space. They don’t make signs like this anymore.
HM: These are our original trays that we’ve displayed our frames in for the past 70 years.
HM: We call these the thrones of MOSCOT. These were probably purchased in the ‘40s but they’ve just also withstood the test of time.
ZM: I use this portrait just as a reminder of how we started. You know where we came from, always to remember that we started as immigrants over a hundred years ago and here we are today five generations later.
HM: My great grandfather, Hyman Moscot, who I’m named after, came to this country in 1899 escaping the oppression of Eastern Europe at the time. He came through Ellis Island and all the immigrants set up shop here on the Lower East Side where we were born. He started his business—he was an optician from the old country. All he knew was selling eyeglasses. He did not even speak English at the time. And he sold eyeglasses from a pushcart, which is our logo today.
HM: You really don’t know where you’re going unless you know where you’ve come from. Seeing my son everyday is a gift. It’s fun to come to work. We love what we do, the people we meet, the people we work with. The creative passions that we both have is kind of endless. I don’t feel any extinguishing of that fire.
ZM: We love telling the story of our brand, of the generations that are MOSCOT. At some point I can pass the torch to the next generation.
HM: Yeah, I’d like to be the first to know about that 6th Generation, by the way.
ZM: You got it!
HM: It’s pride and its legacy. Like I said, many generations preceded us, and we just hope that they’re checking us out and feeling good about what we’re doing.