Wendell Rodricks

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A brief biography

Lisa Monteiro, February 13, 2020: The Times of India

One of the earliest and prominent public figures to come out in the open about his gay status, Rodricks is survived by his partner Jerome Marrel, who he married in 2002 in Paris. A Padma Shri recipient, Rodricks exerted considerable influence on the fashion world after he turned eco-friendly and glorified the minimal look at a time when the terms weren’t heard of in Indian fashion.

He was instrumental in rolling out the carpet for the first Lakme India Fashion Week, which brought professionalism to the fashion industry. He appreciated the Indian figure and labelled his creations at his store in Goa with ‘slim’, ‘medium’, ‘voluptuous’ and ‘voluptuous goddess’ labels instead of the generic ‘large’ and ‘extralarge’ tabs, which he said were an “outright insult to the Indian woman”. The eldest of four brothers, Rodricks was brought up in a Mumbai chawl.

But it was not all fashion and looms for him. When it came to the protection of Goa, Rodricks never hesitated to raise his voice. He protested deforestation and was vocal about protecting Goa’s environment. His role was pivotal in the protection of the centuries-old trees in Colvale that eventually faced the axe for a national highway. And just when one thought he had done it all, Wendell traded his needle and thread for the mighty pen. In 2012, he penned his ode to Goa in ‘Moda Goa-History and Style’.

Indian fashion’s ‘guru of minimalism’ Wendell Rodricks passed away at his quiet village of Colvale. He was 59.

During his life, he played many roles — designer, environmentalist, writer — but perhaps most long-lasting was his role as mentor to innumerable Goan youths, including Mister Supranational 2018 Prathamesh Maulingkar.

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