“I want to create the perfect piece for each person's needs.”

Zouhir Karsli

Zouhir Karsli founded his apparel company in 1984.

Zouhir’s story originally began in Damascus, Syria, with a childrenswear line specializing in high-end dresses. As his father owned a knitting factory, Zouhir grew up in the industry. Today, this family tradition continues to unfold as both Zouhir and his son operate out of the Garment District. Legacy is important to Zouhir, and he’s laser-focused on building a company that will exist long after his retirement.

Zouhir suit
zouhir working

“I like to make.”

Zouhir arrived in the United States eager to build his own business. In 2009, this goal became a reality, and he has been operating out of the same building since. He works within a wide range of styles and customers, and his client list includes many international designers. For a short while, he produced hospital gowns, striving to elevate the traditional and inexpensive styles with more comfortable materials. This experience helped Zouhir identify his next goal: high-end uniforms. When a contact asked if he could create a collection of uniforms for a famous chef, Zouhir confidently replied that he could do anything!

“In the heat of the kitchen, materials need to be breathable and materials must be healthy.”

This restaurant line included individual uniforms for each worker. Every position in a kitchen has a unique responsibility, range of motion, and need.  Zouhir was determined to find the right material, cuts, and style for each staff member. The attention to detail and overall success of this project naturally led to more, and Zouhir’s services now include consulting through production for several high-end hotels and restaurants. He takes the time to understand what is needed for a comfortable, useful, and attractive. Embroidery and other finishing details enhance his garments and give each piece a special feel.

As the company continues to expand, Zouhir’s focus on fabrics has led him all around the world. He is committed to his home in the Garment District and is hoping to someday expand his factory to work with the best materials and international clients. “I’m creating a brand. This company will live beyond me.”

Zouhir production

Q&A with Zouhir Karsli

What’s your advice to someone starting out in this business?

Focus on what you need to do and ask for help with the rest. You have your skills and others have theirs. Let the best person do their best work.

Who most influenced you?

My family. When I see my son, I see myself. I see my future, and I know that when I’m done someone will continue behind me.

What keeps you motivated?

I stay focused: I wake up every morning at 4 and I don't stop until the day is done.