Sanja M. Hays was born and raised in Croatia’s capitol city of Zagreb back when the country as a whole was still part of Yugoslavia. After the rewarding experience that characterized her adolescent education, she graduated high school and went on to study Architecture at the University of Zagreb. Following her receiving of her college degree, she began her career proper at the Jadran Studios in Zagreb where she worked as an assistant to British, Italian, and American costume designers. It was while working for one of these aforementioned American costume designers that she ventured to take a big risk with leaving her life in Croatia behind and moving to America in order to better pursue her dream of becoming a costume designer herself one day. And so, Sanja moved to Los Angeles in 1987 where she continued working as an assistant costume designer on movies that included Independence Day and Star Gate, and she even managed to get some work as a costume desginer on several indie movies. She eventually managed to get her big break while designing costumes for Star Trek: Insurrection, as well as the first entry in the Blade franchise. From that point on she has had the privilege of working on films with directors that include Brian de Palma (Mission To Mars), Lee Tamahori (Along Came A Spider), Len Wiseman (Total Recall), Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck (Captain Marvel), Justin Lin (Fast & Furious franchise), and Jon Watts (Spider-Man: No Way Home) just to name a few. She’s even gone beyond working on only films on multiple occasions wherein she ventured into televison by doing
two successful pilots with Len Wiseman on Sleepy Hollow for Fox and also worked with Justin Lin on Scorpion for CBS. Throughout her career, Sanja has always prioritized aiding in the process of bringing not just the director’s vision to life, but also in helping actors feel more comfortable and satisfied in the role they portray on screen. For her lengthy and decorated career, she was nominated by Costume Designers Guild for Best Costumes in the Period genre category for The Mummy 3: The Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, as well as for Best Costumes in the Sci-fi/Fantasy genre category for her work on Captain Marvel and Spider-Man: No Way Home. Between these two MCU films, Sanja reunited with Justin Lin on Fast 9 after he took a hiatus from the franchise with the previous entry. Most recently she finished up work on Fast X, collaborating with director Louis Leterrier for the first time in her career, and is now set to take yet another forray into the MCU in the form of working on the upcoming Thunderbolts film starting in early 2023.