Designer Wendell Rodricks, one of the most celebrated sartorialists in India, has passed away at the age of 59 in Goa. Besides being an A-list designer, Rodricks was also an activist for various social causes, the environment, and gay rights. In 2014, Government of India's fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri, was conferred upon him.
Family sources confirmed to the Indian Express that the ace designer died at his Colvale house. Heart attack is believed to be the reason of his death.
His first collection was showcased back in the 1990s, which earned him the title - Guru of Minimalism. Later on, he pioneered the concept of "resort wear" and "eco-friendly" garments in Indian fashion. After over two decades in the fashion industry, Rodricks said goodbye to the runway and handed over his label to his prodigy Schulen Fernandes in 2016.
Rodricks was born in a Goan Catholic family, and grew up in Mumbai. He began his career in fashion designing by using his savings to study fashion in Los Angeles and Paris.
Rodricks was known for pioneering the idea of resort wear and for advocating eco-friendly fashion. In 2010, he revived the traditional Goan attire of the kunbi sari.
He was also a part of the khadi movement, and even promoted it at the world's largest organic fair, BioFach, at Nuremberg, Germany, in 2011 when he was invited there. In 2017, he presented a collection for plus-size women at the Lakme Fashion Week in 2017.
Deeply saddened to hear about the sudden demise of my very good friend and designer, Wendell Rodricks. His excellency in his work & skills are irreplaceable & shall always be cherished.We will truly miss him. My heartfelt condolences to his family & dear ones. pic.twitter.com/CzRnQJjbxf— VishwajitRane (@visrane) February 12, 2020
Deeply shocked to hear about the passing away of acclaimed fashion designer Padmashri Wendell Rodricks. My condolences to his family. May his soul rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/ellp7TYY51— Digambar Kamat (@digambarkamat) February 12, 2020
FDCI is deeply disheartened with the sudden and untimely demise of one of the country’s iconic designer, Wendell Rodricks. The fashion fraternity lost a legend today. Wendell, we will miss you. pic.twitter.com/AFFUVu9UcD— FDCI (@fdciofficial) February 12, 2020
Extremely saddened to hear the sad demise of one of Goa's & Country's iconic designer - Padma Shri Wendell Rodricks!,an iconic figure in the Indian fashion industry. May God give strength to the bereaved family to bear this loss.May his soul rest in peace. pic.twitter.com/pOKaFjuRU7— Shripad Y. Naik (@shripadynaik) February 12, 2020