Wendell Rodricks Bio – Wiki
Wendell Rodricks was an Indian fashion designer and author based in the western Indian region of Goa. He was 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.
Rodricks was born on 28 May 1960 in Goa, India. He died on 12 February 2020.
Education & Early Life
He grew up in Mumbai and attended St. Michael’s High School in Mahim. After completing school, he took a graduate diploma in catering. After this, Rodricks joined as Assistant Director of the Royal Oman Police (ROP) Officers Club in the city of Muscat in 1982. However, he did not pursue these professions but moved to fashion designing.
Rodricks began by using his savings to study fashion in Los Angeles and Paris. In the early 2000s, he completed internships at the National Museum of Costume and Fashion in Lisbon (on the conservation of pre-21st century garments) and the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York City (on modern garments, under the museum’s director, Valerie Steele).
He began his career in fashion by designing for Garden Vareli, Lakmé Cosmetics, and DeBeers. When in Paris with his first portfolio in hand, he was advised to put “your country in your clothes”. He launched his own label in 1989 with his first show held at the Regal Room of the Oberoi Hotel, Mumbai. His first collection consisted of twelve ensembles, with model Mehr Jesia. Out of these, only six were complete outfits.
Rodricks was known for pioneering the idea of resort wear and for advocating eco-friendly fashion. In 2010, he revived the traditional Goan attire of the kunbi sari.
He made cameo appearances in the 2003 film Boom and in the television play True West in 2002. He also played himself in the 2008 film Fashion.
Wendell Rodricks was homosexual and married Jerome Marrel in a civil ceremony in Paris in 2002, to the initial displeasure of his family. He met Marrel in Oman through a friend who set them up while Rodricks was working there for the Royal Oman Police (ROP) Officers Club in 1983. Rodricks credited Marrel for his success as a fashion designer, in his autobiography, The Green RoomThey both loved traveling and had visited over 150 countries together.
Rodricks was a catholic. He was the godfather of Arhaan Khan, the son of the film-maker Arbaaz Khan and his ex-wife Malaika Arora. Rodricks played a large role in forming the career of Arora, a fellow Catholic, and remained close to her and her family.
Celebrated fashion designer and activist Wendell Rodricks died at the age of 59 on Wednesday at his Goa residence.