The history of Moscot, widely known as the eyewear of choice for Andy Warhol, Truman Capote, and Johnny Depp, begins in 1915 in Manhattan’s Lower East Side in New York City. Moscot found its footing through reproductions of eyewear models that were discontinued during the American Great Depression and has continued its legacy for over 100 years. Beloved across generations as the emblem of vintage eyewear, Moscot is just as much an American classic as white T-shirts, jeans, and wing tip shoes.

Welcome to the 64th edition of B.

When we’re putting together a brand documentary magazine every month, I find myself thinking constantly about the same things: whether the people we meet will be interesting, whether their unique perspectives will come across, and whether the process of even finding these subjects is going to go smoothly. To tell a brand’s story requires more than merely parroting its history or detailing product specs. What matters are the stories of the people who create, deliver, and enjoy these products. This is why, at the beginning of the content planning process, I pay close attention to how smoothly we get the interviews. The ease of this process is, for me, a good gauge of
the quality of the final content. I’m not talking about
a reporter’s skill in contacting a subject, or being surprised by our luck to score a big-name interview. My interest is whether there are people spurred by passion for a brand to speak, or act, on its behalf.
Over the course of publishing sixty-some issues of B,
I have come to realize that good brands are naturally surrounded by good stories, and that these stories form a rich heritage. In this sense, the users and customers who can say, “I’ve built a history with this brand,” and are ready to share those intimate stories might be the most valuable assets a brand can have.

Moscot has an ample portfolio of such assets. Moscot is a five-generation family company that is, perhaps, most well known as the maker of the iconic Lemtosh frames that were made famous by actor Johnny Depp. Founded by Hyman Moscot, the company is run today by Dr. Harvey Moscot, a fourth-generation Moscot and optometrist. Last autumn, the B team paid a visit to New York, where the company is based, and most of the people we met had close ties to the Moscot family: a fashion designer with an eponymous label, a writer who had a friendship with Bob Dylan, a fashion editor who has spent over two decades at a prominent men’s magazine, and a Hollywood actor with growing star power. In addition to being Moscot devotees, these people were New Yorkers, and as they put it, the history of Moscot is inseparable from the history of the city. They trust Moscot products because they trust the Moscot family name. They know that they can stop by the flagship store on Orchard Street for no particular reason and have meaningful, genuine conversations with the people inside. And they don’t doubt for a second that Moscot products are any different in character from their makers. This deep respect for the people behind the Moscot brand was woven into a good number of the stories we heard.

In addition to these accounts, we discovered a wealth of other resources attesting to the Moscot brand value. One was the September 21, 1946 edition of The New Yorker, another cultural icon of the city. Featured on the cover is a green-hued illustration of the Moscot shop and the surrounding neighborhood, back when it was run as a neighborhood optical shop by Dr. Sol Moscot, Hyman Moscot’s son, who worked as an optometrist. Decades later, Moscot now not only has its own line of frames, but also a reputation as a trendsetter that offers new takes on old traditions and a presence in over 50 major cities worldwide. In terms of commitment to its work and the relationship it maintains with New York City and its people, though, little has changed. We had the chance to conduct a special interview with three generations of Moscots, all of whom play a unique part in the business today. It was something that would hardly have been possible with most brands out there. The Moscots themselves seemed to recognize that their story is unique: They readily and frequently made mention of “fate” and “destiny,” words that might seem somewhat passive, stale, or even uncool in this age inundated by fancy rhetoric and expressions. This got me thinking. Perhaps Moscot, just as much (and as vibrant) a part of the city as it ever was, a true constant in a sea of change, is a modern brand in the truest sense.

We at B wanted to do something special to commemorate our Moscot edition, so we partnered with the brand for a special collaboration: a cinnamon-colored Lemtosh, available in either a sunglass or eyeglass model, with the B logo and Moscot logo inscribed on the temple. The print on the packaging and the eco-bag that is included with the frames pay homage to the witty style that has become Moscot’s signature. Our hope is that this collaboration, like the brand’s enduring legacy, will be treasured for many days to come.

Content & Editorial Director
Eunsung Park

Intro


Editor’s Letter


The Moscoteer

The brand’s newsletter and scintillating sensibility


Opinion

Ted Yoo, CEO of CED International


Moscot in Cities

The witty vintage interiors of Moscot shops around the world


Keywords

Four keywords that describe Moscot


Guidelines

Understanding size codes and related terms


Lineup

Moscot's place in the eyewear industry


Loyal Customers

Customers brought back again and again by a deep kinship with the brand


Opinion

Todd Snyder, Fashion Designer


Design Heritage

The contemporary reflection of authenticity in Moscot eyewear design


Collaborations

Diverse and extraordinary partners share Moscot's originality


Personal Classics

People who make scenes with a strong sense of style and individuality derived from the classics


Opinion

Madeline Weeks, Fashion Director


Moscot in New York

The iconic New York stores that bridge families and neighbors, local and global markets


Moscot Music

Advocating pure art via Moscot's creative energy


The Language

Moscot speaks through design


Brand Story

Over 100 years of proud history supporting Moscot's expansion


Gallery

A chronology of Moscot as seen through photographs


Campaign

Advertising based on clear-cut ideas and imagination


Icons of Moscot

Celebrities who love Moscot


Optics

The lens crafters that stand behind Moscot's credibility


Interview

Three generations of the Moscot family gathered for an interview


Figures

The Moscot culture and the eyewear industry by the numbers


References

Outro

PUBLICATION RIGHT

Publisher  Suyong Joh
CEO/Media Director Myungsoo Kim
Content & Editorial Director Eunsung Park
Senior Editor Heather Yoo
Editors Jaewoo Seo, Jean Kim, Sol Lyu
Photographer Miyeon Yoon
Interns Diana Park Sooyoung Hwang
English Translation Seoul Selection
Guest Designer Gyeongtak Kang
Marketing Hyunjoo Kim
Sales & Distribution Sanghoon Kim, Suyeon Kim
Correspondents  Mihye Nam (Tokyo), Alex Seo (London), Lena Shin (LA), Sanghyeok Lee (Berlin), Hyeseon Jeong (Paris)
Publishing  JOH & Company

REFERENCES

Eyewear: Gli Occhiali
KOLLECTION: Answers for Wise Consumption Found in Long-Life Brands
Greg Gorman: Framed: For L.A. Eyeworks
Megane Begin Vol. 22
Mode Optique Vol. 44
LYF Magazine