Juman Malouf – The Multifaceted Artist and Partner of Wes Anderson

Juman Malouf

Juman Malouf is a Lebanese costume designer, illustrator, and author. She is also the partner of the famous filmmaker Wes Anderson. She has collaborated with him on several of his films, such as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. She is also the author of a children’s novel called The Trilogy of Two, which was published in 2015. In this article, we will explore the life and career of Juman Malouf, the multifaceted artist and partner of Wes Anderson.

Birth, Family, and Education

Juman Malouf was born in 1975 in Beirut, Lebanon. Her mother, Hanan al-Shaykh, was a novelist while her father, Fouad Malouf, was a construction engineer. She has a brother who is older than her, Tarek, who works as a journalist and a filmmaker.  She left Lebanon with her family when she was only three months old, because of the civil war, and settled in London, England. She attended Brown University in Rhode Island, USA, and obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Fine Art and Art History. She then pursued her education at New York University Tisch School of the Arts, earning a Master of Fine Arts degree in Set and Costume Design.

Career Journey

Juman Malouf started her professional journey as a set designer for theaters in New York. However, she subsequently established her own fashion label, Charlotte Corday, in the early 2000s. She was unhappy with both theatre and fashion and finally discovered her true passion when she started writing and illustrating her own stories.  She encountered Wes Anderson in 2009, and since then, she has participated in his films by providing voiceovers, book covers, character illustrations, and costume designs. She has worked with him on several of his films, such as The Grand Budapest Hotel, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Her first novel, The Trilogy of Two, is a fantasy adventure story about twin sisters who have musical powers and go on a magical journey. The book was included in TIME magazine’s 2015 list of top 10 children’s books.  In 2018-2019, the author, along with Wes Anderson, curated an exhibition titled “Spitzmaus Mummy in a Coffin and Other Treasures” at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna. The exhibition showcased over 400 objects from the museum’s collection that reflected their personal tastes and interests.

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014): She created character sketches of the actors, which were displayed around the hotel where the cast and crew stayed, to set a unique tone for everyone. She also made the book covers for the imaginary author Stefan Zweig, whose writings influenced the film.

Moonrise Kingdom (2012): She made the covers for the beloved books that Suzy Bishop, the main female character, owned. The books were made-up titles that Anderson invented for the film, such as The Francine Odysseys and The Girl from Jupiter.

Fantastic Mr. Fox (2009): She gave voice over for one of the characters, Agnes, who is a mole and a love interest for Ash, Mr. Fox’s son.

Relationship, Marriage and Children

Juma Malouf encountered Wes Anderson in 2009, when she was friends with some of his acquaintances, while she was working on her first novel, The Trilogy of Two. In 2010, she married Wes Anderson in a private ceremony after being in a romantic relationship for over 15 years.  Their daughter, Freya, was born in 2016 and was named after the protagonist of the 1940s movie The Mortal Storm. She resides with Wes Anderson and their daughter in Paris, France. They often travel to various places for their work and leisure.

Wes Anderson: Husband

Wes Anderson is a renowned American filmmaker who has created, written, and produced several movies that have a unique visual and narrative style. He is known for his eccentric comedies that often have ensemble casts, themes of family, loss, and nostalgia, and careful attention to detail.  Wes Anderson is known for directing acclaimed films such as The Royal Tenenbaums, The Grand Budapest Hotel, and Isle of Dogs. He has been nominated for seven Academy Awards and has won various other accolades, including the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy and the BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay for The Grand Budapest Hotel.

Juman Malouf Net Worth

As of 2023, Juman Malouf’s estimated net worth is approximately USD 19 million. Her earnings have primarily come from her successful career as a writer, costume designer, and voice actress.

Awards and Recognition

  • In 2018, Juman Malouf received the Best Costume Design award at the Venice Film Festival for her contribution to Anderson’s film Isle of Dogs. It was her debut as a film costume designer, and she made more than 240 outfits for the human characters in the stop-motion animation.
  • She has written and illustrated a book for children: The Trilogy of Two (2015). The New York Times complimented The Trilogy of Two as “a beautifully written adventure story” and Kirkus Reviews called it “a dazzling fantasy adventure”.

Final Words

Juman Malouf is a talented and multifaceted artist who has excelled in various creative fields, including costume design, illustration, and writing. Her collaboration with Wes Anderson has not only enriched his films but has also showcased her artistic abilities. Through her work, Malouf has earned recognition and accolades, establishing herself as a successful and influential artist.