BeUnic would like to offer a heartfelt tribute to Wendell Rodricks as he left for his heavenly abode, with us mourning his loss. It’s a sad day for the fashion community in India. Wendell Rodricks, one of the most prolific and admired Indian designers of recent times, passed away aged 59. He died of a coronary failure at his residence in Goa on Wednesday.
Rodricks created wonderful and iconic fashion moments. His pieces conveyed a gender fluidity, subtle shades between hard and soft, masculine and feminine. Rodricks, who was openly gay himself, showed his outright support for the LGBTQ community at his fashion shows, celebrating the thought that beauty comes in different shapes and sizes – regardless of the gender. He taught a generation of Indian gay men to be comfortable in their skin at all times.
While a lot of people ostracized the LGBTQ community, he embraced them without any fear or hesitation. In 2017, he gave Mona Veronica Campbell, India’s first plus-sized transgender model, her big break as she walked the ramp for the ace designer at the Lakme Fashion Week. Campbell, formerly called Adapala Mohan Naidu, said she owes her success to Rodrick’s indelible contribution to the world of fashion.
Rodricks was also a part of the khadi movement and even promoted it at the world’s largest organic fair, BioFach at Nuremberg in Germany in 2011. In 2014, he was awarded India’s fourth-highest civilian honour, the Padma Shri. He was also honoured by the All India Konkani Parishad and conferred the distinction of Knight in the Order of Arts and Letters (Chevalier de l’Ordre National des Arts et Lettres) by The Ministry of Culture and Communication of France.
We will remember him today and forever in solidarity. Well done, Wendell.