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The hard times worth the journey: Wendell Rodricks on Padma Shri

New Delhi : Ace Goa-based designer Wendell Rodricks, who has been named for the Padma Shri, feels humbled with the felicitation and says that the hard work he has put in now seems worth the journey.

Rodricks, has been named for India`s fourth highest civilian honour in the art (fashion designing) category in the list announced Saturday on the eve of the 65th Republic Day.

"I am overjoyed and humbled by the honour India and Goa has conferred on me. All the hard times and hard work seem worth the journey.

“I am grateful to many people in Government, the media, friends and well wishers who ensured that I was considered for this honour. As a Goan, I am happy to have joined the ranks of many illustrious Goans. As a fashion designer, I am indebted to my fraternity for paving the way to this moment. Receiving the Padma Shri has made me resolve to work harder for my art, fraternity, community, Goa and India,” he added.

Rodricks is one of the names in the fashion industry to have revolutionised the Indian ramp scene and also promoted it globally. A revivalist in his own way and also a keen art patron and promoter of Goan talent, Rodricks has lent his support to local education, cultural associations, the Red Cross and the Alliance Francaise in Goa. He has put Goa firmly on the fashion map.

Rodricks, whose Goan heritage is reflected in his designs, began his career in fashion after a successful tenure in hotel management. Trained in Los Angeles and Paris, he returned to India in 1988. After a brief span of two years, and designing for companies like Garden Vareli, cosmetic giant Lakme and diamond corporate DeBeers, Rodricks established his own label in 1990.

He later moved to his ancestral village in Goa in 1993, and there has been no looking back since. His ready-to-wear line with its minimalistic designs have found many takers.