Cohen’s Fashion Optical Targets Warby Parker with Vision Makeover and Orchard Street ‘Concept Store’

Posted on: April 19th, 2016 at 5:13 am by
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​For decades, two stalwarts of the optics industry duked it out on a Lower East Side corner. Moscot and Cohen’s Fashion Optical competed for decades, yet the latter never really carried the cool cache of the former, and is barely associated with the neighborhood anymore. With good reason; it’s no longer independent (purchased by Houchens Industries in 2008) and maintains a ubiquitous mall presence across the country.

Now, Cohen’s seeks to upgrade its vision, so to speak. Step one is the store renovation at 117 Orchard Street, which already uncovered, and subsequently destroyed, the well-preserved ghost sign for the ages. Since our last dispatch, the company stripped the classic wood lettering to install an illuminated replica of same. The identical typeface and glasses logo were returned to the marquee with white-lit backing. Within, the retail footprint was completely sanitized and is now a cleaner affair.

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Step two, attacking the competition with hip frames of its own. In a move seemingly targeted at the popularity of Warby Parker, Cohen’s Fashion Optical launched its “be a visionary campaign” to promote the $99 collection. Much like its competitor, it includes frames, lens, and eye exam. And they’re bringing it all back home to the Lower East Side, pimping its longtime headquarters at 117 Orchard Street as a “concept store” called The Collective.

Launch party in the reimagined, but still antiseptic space, is tomorrow.

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