Fashion designer Satya Paul died in Coimbatore on Wednesday at the age of 79, his son Puneet Nanda said on Facebook.
Nanda said that Satya Paul, who founded the eponymous fashion label, had a stroke on December 2 and was recovering at the hospital. “We finally got clearance from doctors to take him back to Isha Yoga Center, his home since 2015,” he wrote. “As per his wish, he gently passed on with blessings of the Master [Jaggi Vasudev].”
Nanda said that most people did not know about his spiritual side. He said that Paul was a follower of Osho and later discovered Jaggi Vasudev, popularly known as Sadhguru.
“He couldn’t have had a sweeter life or passage... at the feet of the Master,” Paul’s son said. “We are sad only a bit, mostly rejoicing him, his life and now his passing with such a blessing.”
On Paul’s demise, Jaggi Vasudev said that the fashion designer was “a shining example” of someone living with “immeasurable passion and unrelenting involvement.”
“The distinct vision you brought to the Indian fashion industry is a beautiful tribute to this,” he wrote. “A privilege to have had you amongst us. Condolences & Blessings.”
Paul began his journey in the industry during the Partition and eventually became a pioneer in the field of retail, according to The Indian Express. He later expanded into the export of Indian handloom products to high-end retail stores in Europe and America. In 1980, Paul launched L’Affaire, which is considered the first sari boutique in India, followed by his eponymous designer label with his son Nanda.
Tribute poured in on the news of the fashion designer’s demise. Viji Venkatesh, South Asia’s regional head for The Max Foundation, remembered the first sari she wore designed by Paul and posted a picture of it.
“Satya Paul passes away at the age of 78!,” she tweeted. “They are all leaving us one by one. My first Satya Paul India saree and an all time favourite. My sister’s gift to me on my 60th in 2012. His Sarees and designs felt like they were made especially for you.”
Satirist Akash Banerjee recalled that Paul not only designed saris but also reimagined ties. “...All his stores had a section for ties,” he tweeted. “Used to save up for months to buy one; for a small town boy stepping into live news anchoring, a good tie, knotted well, was a major confidence boost.”
Executive Chairperson of Biocon Limited Kiran Majuzmdar-Shaw and actor Kangana Ranaut condoled his death.
Kandhamal MP Achyuta Samanta said Paul’s death would leave a void in the fashion industry. “It’s an end to an era,” he tweeted.