Goa: In a shocking development, activist and popular fashion designer Wendell Rodricks died at his home in Goa on Wednesday evening, following a prolonged illness. The award-winning fashion designer’s death was confirmed by one of his family members.

Nilakanth Halarnkar, BJP MLA from the Thivim Assembly constituency and a longtime associate of the designer also confirmed his death and said, “Yes, it is true. He died at 5.45 p.m. today. He was ailing for a long time.”

Born on May 28, 1960, Rodricks was considered a pioneer in the world of Indian fashion. Not just a designer, Rodricks was also an author, environmentalist, and a vocal advocate for gay rights. In 2014, the Government of India conferred upon him its fourth-highest civilian award, the Padma Shri.

He was also accorded the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts Et Lettres by the French Ministry of Culture in 2015. As a designer, he has been credited with reviving the Kunbi saree, worm by the indigenous Kunbi tribal women of Goa. Apart from these, he had also made small cameo appearances in the 2003 film Boom, 2008 film Fashion and in the television play True West in 2002.

Many on social media, including politicians as well as members of fashion and showbiz world, have expressed shock at his death and paid their condolences.

The designer was in the process of setting up a museum ‘Moda Goa Museum and Research Centre’ which Rodricks had dedicated to clothes and fashion in Goa through the ages.

”Final plastering at work,” wrote Rodricks on his Instagram account three days ago.

View this post on Instagram

@modagoamuseum final plastering at work

A post shared by Wendell Rodricks (@wendellrodricks) on

Family sources said that the funeral is scheduled for Thursday. May his soul rest in peace!