I am Sanja
a costume designer
living and working in the US.
Sanja Manakoski is a Chicago based costume designer. She is originally from Serbia, where she earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Costume and Fashion Design from University of Applied Arts and Design in Belgrade, and her Master of Fine Arts in Stage Design from Northwestern University.
Recently, Sanja won the 2019 Michael Merritt Award for the best professional theatre design exhibit. In 2018, she was featured in American Theatre Magazine in the Roll Call Series 6 Theatre Workers You Should Know. Sanja’s designs have been seen internationally and across the United States in theatres such as the Writers theatre, Lifeline Theatre, Gift Theatre, Teatro Vista Theatre, Western Stage Theatre, Music Theatre Works, and others.
In addition to her theatre accomplishments, Sanja is also recognized as a fashion designer and educator. She was one of the judges for the 2018 Driehaus Awards for Fashion Excellence in Chicago. Furthermore, she is the co-creator of the fashion label KLASA, which received many prestigious awards such as the ELLE Fashion Award. Her costume designs and illustrations have also been exhibited internationally. For example, her up cycle multifunctional costume design received the ULUPUDS design award in Belgrade and was exhibited in the Theatre Festival Prague Quadrennial 2015. Sanja is also teaching as an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University for theatre design at both undergraduate and graduate levels.