Maya Romanoff


Story > Maya Romanoff

Maya Romanoff, 1941-2014

Company founder and namesake Maya Romanoff established the company in 1969 after discovering an inherent passion for dyeing textiles.

As an artist, inventor and chief creative officer of Maya Romanoff , Maya created a company culture that continues to foster a sense of community and artistic expression. His study and practice of Zen Buddhism was influential in his philosophy of making “uncommon art.”

Throughout the company’s evolution Romanoff’s founding vision of transforming modern design by combining ancient artistic techniques with the latest production technology has held strong. Pushing technological boundaries allowed Romanoff to turn his affinity for organic beauty into marketable, avant-garde surface coverings.

Originally from Chicago, Maya attended University of California at Berkeley at a pivotal moment in the 1960’s, studying Anthropology and Art. His post graduate travels to countries such as North Africa and Paris cemented his developing philosophy that art should be an integral part of everyday life. Exposure to the couture houses of Paris spurred his interest in textile design and fashion.

Enter Woodstock and Maya’s discovery of the intriguing technique of tie-dye. His amazing fabrics swept tie-dye into the realm of couture and subsequently went beyond draping bodies to draping entire buildings creating large scale installation art. Maya began to experiment further with surfaces creating floorcoverings, entire fabric room environments and of course, wallcoverings.

At the age of 49, he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s and devoted his free time to memorizing Shakespearean sonnets, singing, and spreadsheets. He never stopped pushing his company to create and to grow. Joyce Romanoff became president of Maya Romanoff in 2002 and her children and his niece assumed leadership roles in the company.

Maya’s achievements are far too extensive to list here. Innovation and industry-wide recognition have led to his being named a Trailblazer by The International Furnishings and Design Association and an Icon of Industry by NEWH. At this time, nine collections have been inducted into the permanent collections of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum.

Maya passed away in January of 2014 after a 20-year battle with Parkinson’s Disease. Since that time, his wife and partner, Joyce, has taken the helm, along with Maya & Joyce’s second generation, to steer the company into the future.