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.
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.
We will truly miss him. My heartfelt condolences to his family & dear ones. pic.twitter.com/CzRnQJjbxf
— VishwajitRane (@visrane) February 12, 2020
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.
The fashion fraternity lost a legend today.
Wendell, we will miss you. pic.twitter.com/AFFUVu9UcD
— FDCI (@fdciofficial) February 12, 2020
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-
Trying to call you. Pick up.
— SONA (@sonamohapatra) February 12, 2020
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!
Rest in Peace, @wendellrodricks. Thoughts and prayers for his family & friends. pic.twitter.com/QcJ4ff3XHT
— Rohan Khaunte (@RohanKhaunte) February 12, 2020
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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