The Legendary INDIA HICKS on Travel & Design
The legendary woman, designer, entrepreneur, humanitarian, writer, and mother of five, India Hicks, lives with her husband on Harbour Island in The Bahamas. Lux Nomade caught up with India to talk about her latest design project, travel, wellness, and what’s in store for 2022.
Coming from design royalty being the daughter of famed designer David Hicks, design runs in India’s veins. In fact, the British style icon and Prince Charles’ goddaughter has had her hand in design for two decades and authored four design books. Her latest project is a collaboration with the British brand – TUSTING. Her collection includes handmade bags with a distinct chic and minimalistic aesthetic. The former Ralph Lauren model is also dedicated to fitness and wellness which her enviable body and glowing looks are living proof of.
L.N As a designer, entrepreneur, philanthropist, author, style icon, mother of five, it’s been a busy year for you. What have been your highlights so far?
I.H We had a wedding this year. David and I married after a year’s delay and 25 years together. All of our children played meaningful roles, my mother and our closest family and friends were there. It was perfect. As everything we were doing seemed to be happening out of order, backwards even, (25 years and 5 kids later we decide to get married?) we hosted dinner and dancing the night before the wedding, with the idea that everyone would be much more relaxed in church the following day, not just because of the mild hangovers but because of the camaraderie from dancing in a field altogether the night before.
“We climbed trees, fostered puppies, we even cut hair. It was an incredible gift to have those months with all of us in one place, together”
Earlier in the year, all seven of us were locked down together. The past couple of years, we’ve mostly been scattered about during school terms. Having that time together was extraordinary.We learnt to cook, bake and decorate. This came in handy as we celebrated four birthdays. We climbed trees, fostered puppies, we even cut hair. It was an incredible gift to have those months with all of us in one place, together. A gift wrapped in the most frustrating package, but a gift just the same.
L.N Tell us about your recent collaboration with the British brand Tusting
I.H It feels right to be collaborating with this very British brand, family-owned since 1875. They’ve even welcomed me into Tusting’s Buckinghamshire workshop, where each bag is handmade second and even third generation artisans, who showed me how to craft a bag from start to finish. I’ll leave the stitching to them, but each bag is hand-numbered in my handwriting.
L.N Coming from design royalty, how much of your work is inspired by your late father, world-famous interior designer and decorator David Hicks?
I.H It would be impossible to grow up with vibrating (never clashing) colors in every room, groovy geometrics and an unconventional mix of old and new and not be inspired. While I usually stick to a neutral palette with just a flash of bold color when designing, there are Hicks-isms everywhere, like two of my mother’s bathing caps encased in a custom acrylic case, which sit on a Georgian console.
L.N All the bags in the collection look like perfect travel companions, did you have travel in mind when designing each bag?
I.H The first collection would have been right at home in the bygone era of travel when lots of people were about to help with bags, but they’re also wildly practical in that they nest into one another so you can always carry your own bags.
L.N On the topic, travel, as a busy businesswoman and frequent flyer, how do you plan, pack and ensure your travels go as smoothly (and are as enjoyable) as possible?
I.H I’m a Virgo and a list maker, which helps. As does living on an out island in the Bahamas for 25 years. When getting home involves multiple flights, a water taxi, and a golf cart, one’s idea of “smooth travel” adjusts to a lower bar. I pack things that will look right in a variety of places, just in case I wind up in the wrong one.
L.N Staying healthy whilst travelling is something many of us are struggling with. How do you keep a healthy routine whilst on the road and what does it involve for you?
I.H I block out an hour on my own with an alert! It’s important to me to always try to keep that hour scared before the day begins. It’s like a meditation for me and puts me in the right frame of mind for whatever will come my way. It’s also a really swell way to see a city. I’m in Charleston now and I get to see the city on foot whilst running not from the back of an Uber.
L.N Apart from when travelling, what does wellness look like for you in your daily life today? What is important to you when it comes to nourishing your body and mind?
I.H I recently started yoga. Yes, I must be last person in the world to discover the benefits of this, but I am now the friend who asks, “Have you ever done yoga? You must try yoga!” as though no one has ever heard of it. Bringing Stretch the puppy with me is the secret to my practice – he’s good at downward dog
L.N With a New Year just around the corner, what are you looking forward to the most in 2022?
I.H In 2022, I’m delighted to continue working with Hester Bly, and to finally releasing a collection that’s been a long time in the making. Called Tigers of India, these are the dresses you’ll love and your daughter will steal. There’s also more to come from Tusting, and I’ve recently accepted an invitation to become ambassador to Prince’s Trust with heavy focus on women supporting women, certainly something that’s near to my heart.