Internationally-famed fashion designer Wendell Rodricks passed away at his home in Colvale village in Goa on Wednesday evening at the age of 59. His sudden demise shocked the fashion as well as the film world.
The designer has had many a Bollywood star as his muse over the years. The likes of Malaika Arora, Anushka Sharma, Richaa Chadha Diana Penty and Arjun Rampal took to social media to remember the time they's spent with Rodricks. Many of them credited the ace designer with introducing them to the world of modelling and giving them to confidence to pursue a career in showbiz.
Malaika shared an old sepia-toned photo of them together, saying, "A master couturier and his muse ♥️..... RIP 🙏 our dearest @wendellrodricks .... I first sat n cried , n then I sat alone n smiled n laughed , jus thinkin of all the beautiful beautiful memories n moments we shared."
Anushka, who was in New Zealand when the news broke, said, "He had given me an opportunity to close his fashion week show in Mumbai after spotting me in Bangalore at a fashion show and was gracious, kind & encouraging. He was one of the reasons I had the courage to move to Mumbai from Bangalore to pursue modelling when I was just 18 years old."
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Woke up in NZ to the sad news of Wendell Rodricks having passed away in his sleep . He was one of the most iconic & original designers in fashion & A champion for LGBT rights . He had given me an opportunity to close his fashion week show in Mumbai after spotting me in Bangalore at a fashion show and was gracious, kind & encouraging. He was one of the reasons I had the courage to move to Mumbai from Bangalore to pursue modelling when I was just 18 years old . RIP Wendell 💜 My love and prayers for Jerome and the rest of his family and friends 🙏
Model-actress Diana Penty too credited Rodricks with her foray into fashion, "You were the force that introduced me to the world of fashion over 10 years ago... believing in me more than I did in myself. I will never forget those times."
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My dearest Wendell, I can’t believe you are no longer with us. Indian fashion has just lost a pioneer, a visionary and a legend. You were the force that introduced me to the world of fashion over 10 years ago... believing in me more than I did in myself. I will never forget those times. Will miss you dearly. RIP in paradise🙏💔
Here are more tributes that poured in for the designer:
Gutted to hear about the untimely demise of @Wendellrodricks. Had only met him briefly but admired his advocacy of gay rights and his love for his home state, Goa. He was one of a kind! Rest in peace. Condolences to family ! 🙏🏽— TheRichaChadha (@RichaChadha) February 12, 2020
Shocked by the news of @Wendellrodricks' passing: https://t.co/W3CDCwo1va An original, a man of courage & conviction, a fashion icon & a social activist -- perhaps Heaven needed all those qualities in one man. RIP.— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) February 12, 2020
I owe everything I am today to u.U discovered me at the age of 16 in my uniform & u never let go of my hand after that.U will forever be remembered my friend & mentor.We have beautiful memories together & they will live on.I pray that ur soul rests in peace. @Wendellrodricks #rip pic.twitter.com/Lzcnsoq2yb— Waluscha De Sousa (@Iamwaluscha) February 12, 2020
A trip to Goa felt incomplete without visiting #WendellRodricks. Such style & hospitality! I’ll never forget the exquisite meals at his homes, sunset cocktails on his boat, his passion for protecting the environment & his devotion to his dogs. Wishing @jeromegoa strength & peace.— Rahul Khanna (@R_Khanna) February 12, 2020
To my dearest @Wendellrodricks @jeromegoa . It's way too soon to say goodbye.... cheers to an adorable, talented, positive& loving human being who truly lived life on his own terms!!! I will MISS U 😪 #RIPWendell pic.twitter.com/b8P5qBPzoI— Pooja Bedi (@poojabeditweets) February 12, 2020
Fashion Design Council of India chairman Sunil Sethi said Rodricks' sudden death due to heart attack has shocked to the fashion industry. "I still can't believe that he is dead. I spoke to him just two days ago and invited him for our finale. I was also working with him on his museum. He has died too young. Entire fashion industry is shocked. I got to know that he suffered a heart attack. People did notice a little change in his health, but nobody realised it will lead to this. It's too sudden. He was a legend," Sethi told PTI on the sidelines of the ongoing Lakme Fashion Week in Mumbai.
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