When Zack Moscot joined his family’s namesake company in 2013, he became the fifth generation in the business. His great-great grandfather Hyman Moscot emigrated from Europe via Ellis Island in 1899 and began selling glasses from a pushcart on the Lower East Side. Eventually, he opened the doors to the first Moscot store at 108 Orchard Street. Since then, the company has continued to be handed down and to grow, all the while remaining on the very same block. “The Lower East Side is part of our DNA,” Zack tells us proudly. “My dad Harvey always says, ‘We were born on Orchard, and we’ll die on Orchard!’”

At Moscot’s HQ at 118 Orchard Street—they moved across the street a few years ago when the building of their former location was sold—Zack, Harvey, and their team work constantly to evolve the brand while still remaining true to their DNA. Below, they show us around the office as they give us some insight into what’s made Moscot such an enduring name in eyewear.

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Zack (left) and Harvey (right) talk shop at their LES HQ.

“The ethos of both expertise and personal relationships with customers was passed down through the generations, all of whom have been optically trained in some way, shape, or form. My great grandfather Sol was one of the first licensed opticians in New York, and my grandfather Joel was an optician and was very customer service-oriented. My dad Harvey joined in the business as a doctor, and I come on as a designer. We’ve constantly been evolving the story and sharing it with our customers. We’re proud of how we’ve come to where we are today.” -Zack Moscot

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MOSCOT Arthur Sunglasses

“Demand began increasing, so we opened up wholesale in the late ‘90s. In the early 2000s, Johnny Depp wore one of our frames and never took them off, and that really helped. We’ve always had celebrities as regulars because we’ve always been part of this neighborhood, which is a center for creative people like musicians. The brand has grown organically by being part of the fabric of New York.” -Zack Moscot

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MOSCOT Arthur Sunglasses

“This is the Arthur, one of our top-selling frames. It’s similar to our Lemtosh, but thinner, lighter, and a little more contemporary. It’s the perfect combination of round and square, so it flatters most faces. We created the Bottle Green as an exclusive color for Barneys.” -Zack Moscot

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Harvey Moscot is fourth generation in the family business.

“There’s really nothing like working alongside your dad. Work and personal life become one and the same, as my father and I are extremely close pals. We have a library of inside jokes and family humor that we share throughout the day. At the same time, we also can get feisty with one another, but we easily overcome any disputes. It’s exactly this rollercoaster of moods and colloquialisms that makes our workspace unique!” -Zack Moscot

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“We never go crazy with putting logos or anything decorative on the frames.” -Zack Moscot

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“The pride in our family business continues to grow all the time as the years fly by. Working with my son is a gift that I never take for granted. We are best buds both at work and when we are out of the office—it all starts to merge. I love the excitement I have every day knowing that when I arrive, Zack will be present, right across from me at his idiosyncratic standing desk. Working with your boy, who also happens to be your best pal, is forever exciting!” -Harvey Moscot

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“We’ve always always had these iconic styles that we call classiconic—a word we actually trademarked. The original styles are the classiconics, and then there are the Spirits, which are all new designs. But all of our frames have the same DNA.”

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“Sol, who was the second generation in the business, made yellow our signature color. He got lots of new signs created, and at the time the most affordable color was Taxi Cab Yellow. We rebranded about 20 years ago and embraced it as our color—we kept Taxi Cab yellow for our sign, and we have a paler yellow which is our pantone color.” -Zack Moscot

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“The vibe of both the office and the store is organized entropy. We describe ourselves as a 102-year old start up. We’re a small team, and we all wear a lot of hats. It’s open, collaborative, and organized while being full of character.” -Zack Moscot

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“There was a time when Sol changed the name of the brand to Sol Moscot, but we returned to just Moscot.” -Zack Moscot

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“We’re really modest and subtle and love variations of classics. We innovate, especially when it comes to lenses and shapes, but overall we maintain the same vibe.” -Zack Moscot

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“Aside from the energy and the landscape that is truly the LES, knowing that my great grandfather’s pushcart was positioned outside the front door of our retail shop here on Orchard Street never stops giving me the chills.” -Harvey Moscot

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