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Wendell Rodricks: Rejection makes you stubborn

Last updated on: November 16, 2012 09:38 IST

Wendell Rodricks: Rejection makes you stubborn

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Salil Jayakar

Designer Wendell Rodricks who began his career in hotel management is hailed as one of India's best fashion designers today. Here's what he learnt from rejection in the early days of his career.

Today, Wendell Rodricks has single-handedly put his home state Goa on the international fashion map.

Despite his success, the veteran who once interned at the museum at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology, never stops learning.

In this interview, the designer talks about his early struggles and success thereon.

Did you always want to be a designer?

I don't know if the word designer was in my mind, but yes, I wanted to do something which involved colour, design and style.

The fashion designer part was a dream, which fortunately came true. Japan held a fascination for me in school -- the beauty of the kimono, the garment. I was glamour-struck at a young age.

Were you a good student in school and college?

I was boringly good at school! I was bad in maths and commerce from the onset in college. The only numbers I liked were in inches.

Did you face rejection before your first break?

When I got into fashion, Indian high fashion was brightly coloured silk with embroidery. Naturally, when I put my minimalist statement on racks in linen, cotton, asymmetric hemlines, the buying public rejected the style.

I used to be standing near my rack and ladies dripping with diamonds would say within earshot, "What are these bizarre clothes? And why is that hemline going from waist to floor?"

In two years, when everyone was romancing the asymmetric hemline, I had the last laugh.

Rejection is a good thing. It makes you stronger and more stubborn to succeed.

Dear Readers, have you ever faced rejection in your career? How did you overcome the situation?

Who/what motivated you to think positive? More importantly, what did you learn from the whole experience?

To tell us about what you learnt from rejection, write in to us at getahead@rediff.co.in (Subject line: Lessons from Rejection) and we will publish the best responses right here on Rediff.com!

Please click NEXT to continue reading...


Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com

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'I laugh at the situation, and don't get stressed'

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What inspires and motivates you the most?

The beauty of creating a garment -- one day, a garment is on a sketch pad, the next day, it becomes a reality.

Two months down the line, I see it at a party as part of a living, moving human being. It is almost miraculous! I am glad I am in a creative field.

Artists have the joy of creating. If I sat in an office as a trader to make money, no matter how many millions, I would prefer not to live.

What does it take to be successful?

Hard work, talent and blessings from above.

Frankly, I don't think of success or failure. I think about enjoying the present in the most gracious way I can. And yes, humour is a large part of my life.

I can laugh at myself and when things go wrong, I can still see that in the future, it will pass eventually. So I laugh at the situation, and don't get stressed.

Choose a career that pays or one you love -- your take?

I began in hotel management that paid and ended up with a career I love. Even if one chooses a career one loves, one has to find the balance to put a meal on the table.

Your advice to aspiring designers...

Many youngsters want to get into fashion for fame and finance.

My advice is to start working under a designer and then set about creating a style philosophy that is from the heart and is not seen anywhere on another designer's rack.

Dear Readers, have you ever faced rejection in your career? How did you overcome the situation?

Who/What motivated you to think positive? More importantly, what did you learn from the whole experience?

To tell us about what you learnt from rejection, write in to us at getahead@rediff.co.in (Subject line: Lessons from Rejection) and we will publish the best responses right here on Rediff.com!


Image: Wendell Rodricks at Lakme Fashion Week, Mumbai
Photographs: Uttam Ghosh/Rediff.com
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