Wendell Rodricks died in Goa on Wednesday, February 12. He was 59. The fashion designer and environmental activist was in his home state to work on his costume museum, which he tweeted and posted about on Instagram three days before he suddenly passed away at his home in Colvale, reportedly of a heart attack.
The designer also had an ongoing spring 2020 pop-up at Atosa, a luxury retail outlet in Mumbai, until February 22.
Rodricks, who was a recipient of the Padma Shri – India’s fourth highest civilian award for distinguished contribution in various industries – established his label in the late 1980s. He has since regularly showcased his collections at India Fashion Week and other local and international shows. In 2017, Rodricks became one of the first designers to send by plus-sized male and female models down the Lakme runway.
He was known for his bespoke resortwear, evening gowns and casual beachwear in naturally dyed, organic fabrics.
Tributes expressing shock and grief at the designer’s sudden demise poured in from friends and peers in and outside the fashion industry, including from the Fashion Design Council Of India, Goa health minister Vishwajit Rane and fashion photographer Atul Kasbekar.
Rodricks was outspoken in his support for the LGBTQ community.