NYC-Based MOSCOT Eyewear to Open 1st Store in Canada in Toronto’s Yorkville Area

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Upscale New York City-based optical frame and sunglasses brand MOSCOT will enter the Canadian market by opening its first standalone store location in Toronto. The family-owned business spans five generations and has 16 stores in 10 cities globally. 

The 106-year-old brand is known for its unique frames in a variety of colours priced at several hundred dollars per pair. Frames are made from materials ranging from metal to beta-titanium. Since 2008, the company has partnered with several designers in collaborations. MOSCOT stores are noted for having eye-catching yellow facades with black trim. 

MOSCOT’s first Canadian storefront will open at 153 Cumberland Street in Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville area. MOSCOT will replace retailer SEE Eyewear that recently vacated the space — in the fall of 2017 Detroit-based SEE opened in the location where it operated for about three and a half years. 

The MOSCOT storefront on Cumberland Street will measure about 800 square feet on one level. Luxury multi-brand fashion retailer Nicolas is located next door in a building owned by Kingsett Capital that includes three luxury retailers with the address 130 Bloor Street. 

Future MOSCOT Yorkville Location
Future MOSCOT Yorkville Location – Photo by Craig Patterson

CBRE Toronto broker Arlin Markowitz and his team listed the former SEE eyewear space and is said to have coordinated the sublease of the former SEE store to MOSCOT. 

It’s unknown at this time if MOSCOT will open more Canadian stores. The brand still has only 16 stores globally. In the United States, MOSCOT operates five stores in the New York City market as well as one in Los Angeles — Toronto will only be the third market for MOSCOT in North America to have a standalone store. 

In the UK, MOSCOT operates three stores in London. Other global cities where MOSCOT has standalone stores include Rome, Milan, Paris, Amsterdam, Tokyo, Yokohama and Seoul. 

MOSCOT-branded eyewear is also sold wholesale in selected optical retailers globally, including several in Canada. 

MOSCOT on Melrose
Image: MOSCOT on Melrose

MOSCOT was founded by Hyman Moscot in the Lower East Side neighbourhood of Manhattan in 1915. In 1925, his son Solomon took over in the business and in 1935, he relocated the store to 118 Orchard Street where he introduced a bright yellow colour scheme to the store that was named SOL MOSCOT. Solomon’s son Joel began running the business in 1951 and his sons Harvey and Kenny joined the company in 1986 and 1991 respectively. 

Joel retired in 2003 and ‘Sol’ was dropped from the name of the retailer that was then called just MOSCOT. His sons began to take the retailer global with stores overseas in Asia and Europe. 

Various celebrities in years past have worn MOSCOT frames, including Andy Warhol, Truman Capote and Johnny Depp.

MOSCOT will join other eyewear retailers in Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville area. Last month on Cumberland Street, retailer All Eyes On Me opened a unique storefront focused on Cartier designs. Other optical retailers in the area include Karir on Old York Lane, Optical Outlook on Yorkville Avenue, Holly Eyewear on Cumberland Street, Lenscrafters at the Holt Renfrew Centre, Hudson’s Bay Optical at the Hudson’s Bay Centre, Josephson’s on Bay Street and a Hakim Optical at the northwest corner of Bloor and Bay Streets. 

We’ll follow up on this story with photos of the new store when it opens. 

Article Author

Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Editor-in-Chief of Retail Insider and President/CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Director of Applied Research at the University of Alberta School of Retailing in Edmonton, and consultant to the Retail Council of Canada. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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