Acclaimed fashion designer Wendell Rodricks left a void in the mortal world on February 13, 2020, and shook the Indian fashion fraternity with his untimely demise. He breathed his last at the age of 59 at his Colvale residence in Goa. Along with being one of the most celebrated designers, Rodricks was an author, environmentalist, and vocal advocate of gay rights. This Padma Shree Awardee was one of the pivotal designers in the ‘90s who shaped contemporary fashion in the Indian Industry.
Though Wendell may not be physically present with us today, but his legacy lives on. Four years before his death, Wendell handed over the creative helm of his namesake label Schulen Fernandes. Now, the label has been brought over by Purple Style Labs (PSL), an organization that has acquired labels like Pernia’s Pop Up Shop and finds one of its key investors in Flipkart’s co-founder Binny Bansal. With respect to this acquisition, PSL’s pivotal plans would include building up an e-commerce website as well as a flagship store in Goa within the next quarter. The company will then focus on creating more retail shops in major cities before promoting the brand globally.
“Our thesis at PSL is that building a brand is a function of time and the success metric is having strong brand recognition. In our journey of two years of Pernia’s Pop-Up Shop acquisition, customers have often asked us if we sell Wendell Rodricks. Hence, the strong brand recall drove our decision,” said the founder and CEO of PSL, Abhishek Agarwal. Brand’s creative head Schulen Fernandes believes Wendell’s legacy deserves to live on. “After losing Wendell earlier this year, myself and the whole team was very distraught. Followed by the constant sense of uncertainty, in the face of this pandemic. It just took the wind out of us, as I am sure it did for most other homegrown businesses. This news is a huge positive to build further, especially for a label that deserves to long live on. When he announced handing over the creative reins of the label to me, he knew he was ensuring that his eponymous label would continue beyond his years. And this new journey is not just about keeping his design legacy in place. It is also about taking care of his people, his WR team who he always invested in, like family”
(Source- Vogue India)