Fashion Designer Felix Zawojski

Felix Zawojski’s house, located near the Market Square, with its beautiful architecture is considered one of the best sights in Karlovy Vary. Built and named after its famous owner in the early 1900s, today it retains its original spirit and Art Nouveau design.

Felix Zawojski was born in 1848 in Doubravník, a small town in the southeast of Czech Republic. He finished school and left for Austria, where he studied to become a tailor. Felix was an apprentice in Vienna, then he moved to Paris. He would never stop halfway, he wanted to be the best in the industry and kept learning and perfecting his professional skills. Soon he was trusted to dress the most demanding clientele. Felix designed clothes for the elite, diplomats, and royal persons, and was famous among the high society. Zawojski the Tailor proudly represented his shops on the Riviera, in India, Persia and even America.

Just before his 50th birthday, Felix Zawojski decided to settle in Karlovy Vary with his wife, artist Maria Shtempierova, and launch his own tailoring business and start sharing his experience with the young. He realized that his fashion shop had to be located on the main street, so he bought a plot of land next to the Market Square and hired architect Karl Heibeck from Vienna to design the house.

In 1900 his dream came true and Felix moved into the beautiful building that was destined to become one of the city’s jewels. A few months later, the City Council authorized him to open the Felix Zawojski tailoring shop. The Court Supplier, which was the name he added to it, was receiving a great many orders. The shop itself occupied the second floor, while the ground floor had dressing rooms and a reception lounge. On the third floor there were their apartment and his wife’s studio. The rest of the house was rented to guests and frequent customers.

In 1911 Felix Zawojski and his wife moved to live at the Adriatic coast. Later, he sold the house in Karlovy Vary and returned to his hometown, where he was involved in charity.

After Felix left Karlovy Vary, the house has had a number of owners. It has undergone some occasional small changes, but has retained its original architecture that today puts it among the most outstanding Art Nouveau buildings.

Amusing Facts

Felix Zawojski’s house was the first in the city to have an elevator installed in 1910.

Among his customers, Felix Zawojski had King Edward VII of Great Britain, the famous «arbiter elegantiarum» who at the time set fashion trends for all European societies.

Muzzafar al-Din, the King of Persia, was so highly satisfied and impressed with Felix Zawojski’s works, that he granted him an invitation to visit his private quarters any time, as well as the right to have four wives.

In 1902 Karlovy Vary had 151 tailoring shops, but the Felix Zawojski enjoyed the greatest popularity.