His first collection showcase back in the 1990s earned him the title "Guru of Minimalism" and later on he pioneered the concept of "resort wear" and "eco-friendly" garments in Indian fashion. After over two decades in the fashion industry, designer Wendell Rodricks has said goodbye to the runway and handed over his label to his protégé Schulen Fernandes.
His collection at the opening day of Lakme Fashion Week (LFW) Winter/Festive 2016 on Wednesday was his last runway presentation and he very proudly handed over his hat to Fernandes on the ramp itself.
Talking to IANS, Rodricks said: "It's an emotional day for me as from now on, she will represent me. Schulen was working with me since she passed out from college, she was my student."
"I think it's very essential that every designer plans to move. No point reaching at the crisis stage and then decide who is going to take over your label.... Because we don't want the label to die when the designer goes... So we want to actually put somebody in place. Schulen is the one for me."
Looking proud and confident, the Padma Shri awardee also pointed that there are many designers who have handed over their business to family members. But for him, Fernandes was the right choice.
"Some of them (designers) are older than me and they had in a way passed on their businesses and brands to their family members. Like Ritu Kumar did that with her son, but we didn't want to do it that way," Rodricks said.
"We wanted to give it to someone who knows our philosophy and Schulen knows it very well. She knows what my philosophy is, so it was an easy transition for me to leave the label with her because I know I am leaving it in trusted hands," he added.
So was the LFW stage actually his last fashion runway presentation?
"Yes, technically. Now you will see me as Wendell Rodricks for books and my museum (in Goa) from October," he said, and added that he will keep sharing his creative ideas whenever the brand needs him.
"Fashion is there and I will keep the passion for fashion very much alive in my head. If I get any ideas, I will share it with her (Schulen). I will still go to the studio and do one or two sample fits... To enjoy," he shared.
At the fashion gala, Rodricks along with Fernandes showcased a collection titled Trapezoid. The fabrics used in the collection were primarily linen, paper silk, silk crepe, malkha cotton, stripe chanderi silk dyed mul and more handloom ones.