- The designer was at his Colvale residence in Goa at the time of his death
- Wendell Rodricks launched his own fashion brand in 1989
- He retired from his label in 2016 to concentrate on the Moda Goa Museum
Celebrated designer Wendell Rodricks died at his home in Goa on Wednesday. The designer was at his Colvale residence in Goa at the time of his death. Fondest memories of Wendell Rodricks were shared by the several celebs, including Malaika Arora and Waluscha De Sousa, who closely worked with the designer. "I first sat and cried, and then I sat alone and smiled and laughed just thinking of all the beautiful, beautiful memories and moments we shared," Malaika wrote in an Instagram post while Waluscha's tribute said: "I owe everything I am today to you." Arjun Rampal and Richa Chadha also mourned the designer in heart-felt tweets:
I owe everything I am today to you. You discovered me at the age of 16 in my uniform and you never let go of my hand after that. You will forever be fondly remembered my friend and mentor. We have beautiful memories together and they will live on. I still cannot believe that you are gone but I pray that your soul rests in peace. I love you #rip @wendellrodricks
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 and heartbroken. Much too young to go like this. Just can't believe it. #WendellRodricks— Soni Razdan (@Soni_Razdan) February 12, 2020
On Wednesday evening, Union Minister Smriti Irani tweeted: "Shocked to hear about the untimely demise of Wendell Rodricks, one of India's most renowned designers." The Fashion Design Council Of India mourned Wendell Rodricks in a tweet, writing: "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." Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane remembered Wendell Rodricks with this tweet: "Deeply saddened to hear about the sudden demise of my very good friend and designer, Wendell Rodricks. His excellency in his work and skills are irreplaceable and shall always be cherished. We will truly miss him. My heartfelt condolences to his family and dear ones."
Shocked to hear about the untimely demise of Wendell Rodricks, one of India's most renowned designers. My heartfelt condolences to his loved ones. May his soul rest in peace— Smriti Z Irani (@smritiirani) February 12, 2020
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.— VishwajitRane (@visrane) February 12, 2020
We will truly miss him. My heartfelt condolences to his family & dear ones. pic.twitter.com/CzRnQJjbxf
FDCI is deeply disheartened with the sudden and untimely demise of one of the country's iconic designer, Wendell Rodricks.— FDCI (@fdciofficial) February 12, 2020
The fashion fraternity lost a legend today.
Wendell, we will miss you. pic.twitter.com/AFFUVu9UcD
Wendell Rodricks launched his own fashion brand in 1989 and announced his retirement from his label in 2016, which he then handed over to his long-time associate Schulen Fernandes. In the fashion world, Wendell Rodricks is best known for bringing forth the concept of resort wear to the limelight and for advocating eco-friendly fashion.
Wendell Rodricks worked towards setting up the Moda Goa Museum, which is dedicated to the history of Goan costumes and Goan fashion artefacts. In 2016, he and his husband Jerome Marrel shifted to a smaller house in Goa's Colvale to convert Wendell Rodricks original Goa home into the museum.
Wendell Rodricks sported many hats. Apart from his remarkable body of work as a designer, Wendell Rodricks was also an author. He wrote about Goan fashion in his 2012 book Moda Goa: History And Style. Wendell Rodricks published his autobiography The Green Room in the same year. He also authored Poskem: Goans In The Shadows in 2017.
Wendell Rodricks was also known for being associated with social causes, including his activism for gay rights. Wendell Rodricks was honoured with the Padma Shri in 2014 and the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et Lettres in 2015.
Wendell Rodricks' association with Bollywood extended beyond stars endorsing his creations. He featured in a cameo in 2003 film Boom and also starred in the 2002 television play True West. He made an appearance in Priyanka Chopra's 2008 film Fashion.