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Simar Dugal. Image Credit: Instagram

Former model and Indian fashion designer Simar Dugal, 52, died after a prolonged battle with cancer on August 12. She’s survived by her two children and husband Premjit Dugal.

As soon as news of her death broke, Bollywood stars, designers and celebrities took to their social media to express shock and grief.

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Model Malaika Arora, who is considered to be Dugal’s closest friend, took to Instagram and posted: “My eyes well up n I can’t stop the tears … my beautiful friend, my angel, my strongest, my most compassionate Sim … Rest in peace my friend.”

Designers including Ritu Kumar and Tarun Tahiliani expressed their sadness and posted a picture of Dugal modelling Indian clothes. She was a top model who exuded grace on the runway.

Ritu Kumar wrote a glowing tribute to the former model, who continued to work after marriage and whose career choices helped in smashing resistance towards models who are wed.

“For me, her passing away, seems as if an era of fashion in India has gone. Perhaps not ever to come back again in quite the same way. I have also lost a friend, muse. She will be truly missed,” said Kumar in her post, adding that the model died at 2.30am at her mother’s home. The designer and Dugal have been close friends for decades and grew up together in Amritsar. Kumar also spoke about her charismatic presence on the runway.

Actress Lara Dutta took to Twitter to express her sadness and described her as the “warmest, most genuine, loving soul to know.”