“Freely interpreting life based on folk art with strong symbols such as Adam and Eve, unicorns, birds, angels and demons on damask is like merging two cultural heritages into one.”
“Freely interpreting life based on folk art with strong symbols such as Adam and Eve, unicorns, birds, angels and demons on damask is like merging two cultural heritages into one. The strong colours adapt these symbols to our times. ‘Himmel och helvete’ (Heaven and hell) is a damask story in a modern version that celebrates our roots. ‘Harmonika’ (Harmonica) complements it.”
Wanja Djanaieff was born in 1941 in Stockholm, Sweden. She is one of the main characters within the Swedish textile design industry. Her interest in textiles was awakened early, and she entered the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Konstfack) at the age of 16, in 1957. Thereafter she worked for Almedahls for the following ten years. Later, she worked as the Director of NK Design Group between 1970 and 1977.
In 1972 she was commissioned to design the clothes that the Swedish Olympic team was supposed to wear in Munich and Innsbruck. She became head of the textile factory Strömma in 1977 and founded the Swedish Design Agency (Svenska Designbyrån) with Kerstin Boulogne, Boel Matzner and Aino Ostergren the same year. She designed the staff uniforms for the Swedish State Railways in 1987.
Wanja Djanaieff has also served as project manager, teacher and professor at University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Konstfack) during the years 1980 to 1992. Furthermore she has worked as a tutor for the National Industrial Board, where she pursued design projects for the Swedish textile industry. In addition, she has worked with stage design and has made costumes for various theaters through the years. More recently, she worked as a freelance designer and summer of 2009 she created an exhibition for Carl Larsson-Gården about Karin Larsson.