Who was Wendall Rodrigues, who made Deepika an overnight model and then a star?

India’s iconic fashion designer Wendall Rodrigues is no more. It would be wrong to call them just fashion designers. Because he started his career with hotel management. After that, he studied fashion. Worked for his home state of Goa. He was an environmentalist. Wrote books LGBTQ (Lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) contributed greatly to the betterment of the community. Also appeared in a few films. And Finally died on February 12, 2020, at 5:45 pm. He was 60 years old. When he died, Wendall was in his Goa home. The cause of his death is said to be a heart attack. However, we should wait for more clarity in this matter.

In this sad and hurried atmosphere, we are telling you some select and interesting things related to Wendle’s life:

1) Wendall was born on 28 May 1960 in Mumbai to the Catholic Family of Goa. Studying and writing took place from Mumbai itself. Said, hotel management has to be done. But even after doing a diploma in it, he was not satisfied. When he was 22 years old, he got his job in Muscat. There he was an Assistant Director in the Catering Department of the Royal Oman Police Officers Club. Now Wendall wanted to study fashion. On the advice of his partner, he started saving money from salary. With this saved money, he studied fashion designing from 1986 to 88 in places like Paris and Los Angeles.

Wendall Rodrigues in the early days of his career.
Wendall Rodrigues in the early days of his career.

2) Wendle returned to India after studying fashion designing. As soon as he came here, he started storming the market. Within a few days, leading fashion designers of India started being counted. This is what brought the trend of eco-friendly clothing to the Indian market. A lot of new things were happening in the new century. One such thing was Lakme Fashion Week. Taking the beginning of this event in India as an auspicious sign for the fashion industry, he remained connected to it at every step. From planning to its completion.

Wendell Rodrigues with her successors Shulane Farrandis and Devika Bhojwani during 2017 Lakme Fashion Week.
Wendell Rodrigues with her successors Shulane Farrandis and Devika Bhojwani during 2017 Lakme Fashion Week. (left to right)

3) Not only India, Wendle’s fame was spreading around the world. Because of their fashion style and clothing made keeping in mind the environment. He was the first Indian fashion designer to be invited to some of the world’s famous events. It had the largest textile-fashion fair in Germany (IGEDO, 1995). Apart from this, he was also sent to the Melian Fashion Week, Dubai Fashion Week and the biggest fair of Organic Clothing.

4) When Wendall was in Oman in 1983, a friend of his introduced him to a man named Jerome Marrell. Jerome was studying business in Oman. Wendle later married these same, Jerome. Being gay, he had to suffer a lot of disrespect from his family. That is why he started talking about LGBTQ. Started making people aware of this. After the same Jerome’s words and courage, Wendall was able to go to places like France and America to study fashion designing. After a long courtship, both of them got married in Paris (2002).

 Wendell with his partner Jerome Marrell.
Wendell with his partner Jerome Marrell.

5) In 2014, Vendal was awarded the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honor by the Indian government. Wendal is only the second fashion designer to get the Padma Shri after Ritu Kumar. In one of his interviews, Wendall says that when he was announced to receive this honor, he could not even know about it. After celebrating the New Year in New Zealand, he turned off his phone. The next time he turned on his cellphone, he got the first message from the Governor of Goa. The message was congratulating, but in the joy of receiving Padma Shri, he sat there crying.

Wendell would receive the Padma Shri from the then President Pranab Mukherjee.
Wendell would receive the Padma Shri from the then President Pranab Mukherjee.

6) Much of the credit for Deepika Padukone’s modeling and acting career also goes to Wendall. Wendall had told the Times in an interview that he had seen Deepika for the first time in a mall. Seeing this, he advised Deepika that she should become a model. Deepika’s mother became angry on this matter of Wendall. But later Deepika chose the modeling field and also did a lot of work with Wendall. One day, Farah Khan suddenly asked Malaika Arora Khan that she needed a model to cast opposite Shah Rukh Khan. Malaika was a good friend of Wendall. Wendal was doing a fashion show, Malaika was also here. He told Malaika, the first girl who will be seen on stage is his recommendation. That fashion show was opened by Deepika. And in this way, Deepika, who was modeling only two years, got the opportunity to make her film debut with Shah Rukh Khan. Not only Deepika, but Anushka Sharma is also considered to be Wendal’s quest.

Deepika Padukone with Wendell Rodrigues during a fashion show.
Deepika Padukone with Wendell Rodrigues during a fashion show.

7) Wendall wrote three books in his career. First Fashion Over- Moda Goa (2012). The second is his autobiography – The Green Room (2012). And the third book Above Goa – Poskem (2017). Not only books, but he was also very active in films. Wendle also started his acting career with Katrina Kaif. In the 2003 film ‘Boom’. Actors like Jackie Shroff, Amitabh Bachchan, and Gulshan Grover worked in it. Wendall had a cameo in it. After this, he appeared in the American TV show ‘True West’. His last film was Madhur Bhandarkar’s Kangana-Priyanka starrer ‘Fashion’ in 2008. In this, he made a guest appearance in the role of his own only, Vendal Rodrigues. Because of Malaika, he was also very close to the Khan family. He was the godfather of Arbaaz and Malaika’s son Arhan Khan.

Wendell Rodrigues at the launch of his book 'Poschem'.
Wendell Rodrigues at the launch of his book ‘Poskem’.

8) Wendall lived in Goa with his partner Jerome. The house in which it was a 450-year-old traditional villa in Goa. He left this villa in Colwell a few years ago. He was working on opening India’s first costume museum in that villa. For this museum, he was collecting the costumes worn in Goa for the last 17 years. The name of this museum was to be ‘Moda Goa Museum and Research Center’. His last social media post was also about the work going on in this museum. He took retirement from his studio and fashion label in 2016 itself. He entrusted the responsibility of these things to one of his companions named Shulain Fernandes. Shullen joined Wendall as an intern in 1999.


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