Well known fashion designer, gay rights activist and Padma Shri awardee Wendell Rodricks died on Wednesday evening at his home in Goa following a prolonged illness. Speaking to IANS on Wednesday Nilakanth Halarnkar, BJP MLA from the Thivim Assembly constituency and a longtime associate of the 60-year-old designer confirmed his death. "Yes, it is true. He died at 5.45 p.m. today. He was ailing for a long time," Halarnkar said.
Anushka Sharma paid a tribute to designer by sharing a throwback photo with him along with a caption that read, "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."
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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 🙏
Malaika Arora also shared a griefing post with a caption that read, "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."
Deputy Superintendent of Police, Mapusa, Gajanan Prabhudesai confirmed the death of Rodricks. "The cause of his death is being ascertained and a police team has rushed to his residence for investigation," he said. Goa Health Minister Vishwajit Rane tweeted, "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."
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
Family sources said that the funeral is scheduled for Thursday. The designer was born into a Goan family and was in the process of setting up a museum 'Moda Goa Museum and Research Centre' which he had dedicated to clothes and fashion in Goa through the ages.
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
Rodricks, one of the most popular fashion designers from Goa, was awarded a Padma Shri in 2014 and was also accorded the Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts Et Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 2015. As a designer, he has been credited with reviving the Kunbi saree, worm by the indigenous Kunbi tribal women of Goa.
Last month, Rodricks was in the headlines for his sarcastic comments over Bollywood actress Priyanka Chopra's Grammy 2020 outfit. The actress wore a navel-baring dress by designer duo Ralph and Russo and received mixed responses on the internet.
As soon as the news of his death surfaced the internet, condolences started pouring in. Celebrities like Sona Mohapatra, Shruti Seth and others expressed their shock on his death and tweets their heartfelt tributes. Check out-
Shocked to hear about the sudden demise of fashion designer, Wendell Rodricks,— Madhur Bhandarkar (@imbhandarkar) February 12, 2020
My heartfelt condolences to his family & dear ones. We will truly miss him. RIP 🙏 pic.twitter.com/1aEAbMzyMS
RIP #WendellRodricks ..Can never forget the love & kindness u showed me when I was starting my journey as an MTV VJ. You literally picked me out of a bunch and told everyone I would make it. It meant so much to me as did all our chats in French. Tu es avec les anges mon ami 💔 pic.twitter.com/Qeku9Gp7mB— Sophie C (@Sophie_Choudry) February 12, 2020
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One of the nicest people I knew , his zest for life , and love for food and life , was overwhelming , it’s not sunk in , that he is no more , this is one of the lovely memories I had with him on his boat and house in goa the last time I met him , u will always be missed ❤️❤️❤️rest in peace
NO. @Wendellrodricks— SONA (@sonamohapatra) February 12, 2020
Trying to call you. Pick up.
Absolutely shocked by the untimely loss of renowned designer Padmashri Wendell Rodricks. His contribution to Goa & the world of art cannot be quantified. At loss of words!— Rohan Khaunte (@RohanKhaunte) February 12, 2020
Rest in Peace, @wendellrodricks. Thoughts and prayers for his family & friends. pic.twitter.com/QcJ4ff3XHT
TV and Bollywood actress Shruti Seth wrote, "What!!!! OMG!!!! This is just shocking and so so sad RIP @Wendellrodricks"
Absolutely shocked and heartbroken to hear about my friend @Wendellrodricks sudden demise . Sad that this happens when he was about to open his dream project .... the museum of costumes in Goa . Loving and warm .. will always cherish the week I spend with him this nov in Goa . pic.twitter.com/vZgyqiIOyJ— Onir (@IamOnir) February 12, 2020
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May your soul rest in peace ... Wendell Rodricks (born 28 May 1960) is our Indian fashion designer and author based in the western Indian region of Goa. He is also an activist for social causes, the environment, and gay rights.In 2014, the Government of India conferred upon him its fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri...fly high Wendell. Thank you for your beautiful home that you converted into a museum. Thank you for the legacy that you gave to Goa .The Moda Goa Museum by Wendell Rodricks will be India’s first costume museum, housed in a 450 year old traditional Goan villa ‘Casa Dona Maria’ in Colvale (Goa). The ground floor of this heritage villa, ‘Casa Dona Maria’ dates back to the late 1500’s, but it was during the mid 1750’s to 1850’s when the rest of the structure was built. After being acquired by the founding trustee in 1993, various additions were made within the span of 25 years, while staying true to the design and construction techniques adopted in the past. The restoration of this centuries-old villa was carried out in keeping with world-class heritage conservation standards. Documenting Goan costumes, design and lifestyle through the generations, the Moda Goa Museum preserves indigenous cultural heritage through a collection of over 800 artefacts stretching from the 7th century AD till present date. It includes statues, objects, furniture, photographs and of course costumes, jewellery & accessories.
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