India Hicks Interview

In the August 2013 issue of House & Home, we get to know style icon India Hicks a little bit better. Here are some outtakes from my interview with India, who proves to be frank, funny, as well as fabulous, from the tips of her turquoise-painted toenails to her highlights.

With the kind of impressive pedigree that descends from Queen Victoria no less, not to mention serving as Princess Diana’s bridesmaid, she’s a definite blue blood. But India’s heritage includes her father, the iconic British designer David Hicks. She left the pink sands of her Harbour Island, Bahamas home, which she shares with her brood of five children and partner David Flint Wood, for a Toronto appearance on HSN, to launch her new collection of bedding and accessories. Not surprisingly, the lion’s share of the collection sold out in one day, proving it’s pretty hard to resist the pull of India’s idyllic interpretation of tropical style.

Wendy Jacob: What do you like best about the new line of bedding?

India Hicks: “The price! Can you argue with a $130 quilt and two shams? No. What is so extraordinary about a platform with HSN is that you can achieve remarkable prices with very high quality because they reach 100 million homes. If I was trying to do this endeavour from my own website, or shop on the island, the price would be huge.”

WJ: What’s your inspiration for the line?

IH: “When someone says ‘OK bring your life into bedding,’ it’s terribly intimidating. I can’t design thinking ‘will the lady in Dallas like it?’ I just design something I like and hope the lady in Dallas likes it. I am so blessed to live where nature is magnified. We don’t have seasons in the Bahamas but interestingly I see the beach change significantly throughout the year. I joke that everything I do is completely fake: I either steal from my father, or from Mother Nature!”

WJ: What’s your favourite room, either in your home or anywhere in the world?

IH: “My own bedroom of course, just because it’s a relief coming home and sleeping in own your bed when you travel as much as I do. It gives me a sense of place, order, family, and more importantly, it’s where my daughter (that’s Domino, pictured above) climbs in and the Dachshund lies, even though the dog’s not supposed to.”

WJ: What’s on your bedside table?

IH: “Hand therapy from Crabtree & Evelyn, and my current read, Daughter of Empire (2012 Weidenfeld & Nicolson), my mother’s memoir. They are trying to persuade her to come to New York for a book launch but she categorically refuses, because she says she won’t be able to get her hair done properly.”

WJ: Did you learn anything new about her in the book?

IH: “Yes, lots. It was very revealing about a generation that kept their emotions in check, there were some extraordinary parts. For instance my grandmother leaves my mother with a nanny in Budapest during one of the many wars and loses the address of the hotel where they were staying, and she didn’t come back for six months. I say ‘our generation would need therapy’ and she looked at me and said ‘you are so over emotional.’ She just thinks ‘get on with it.’”

WJ: You have a jewelry line, run your boutique, The Sugar Mill in Harbour Island, have a home fragrance and body care line for Crabtree & Evelyn, and now this new launch: you don’t have much downtime but when you do, what do you love to do?

IH: “I love to write, I am a frustrated, rather bad, writer. Someone posted a complaint on my blog: your spelling and grammar are terrible. Of course they are, but at least you know it’s me. And I love Pinterest! It does bring the world to life when I am on a rock in the middle of nowhere, with no access to magazines or culture or the buzz of a city.”

WJ: How has beach style changed for you over the years?

IH: “I have lived here for 17 years, and your outlook changes. At first it was all puka shells, cut-off shorts and cowboy hats, then caftans and gypsy bangles. Now I don’t have time for any of that stuff, just a stripy tee and flip-flops. If the kids are on holiday and I am taking the day to be with them, then I will put on a lovely bikini, but I can’t be fiddling around with gold bangles anymore when I am driving them on the boat, or chasing the dogs who have escaped! My whole life is about no ironing. I have turned into that person.”

WJ: What’s next for you?

IH: “It’s like you give birth to a baby and someone comes to the hospital and says ‘when are you having another?’ We launch a whole new HSN collection in September 2013.”

Photo credits:
1, 2, 4, 8. HSN
3. Lonny
5. Wendy Jacob
6. Daughter of Empire (2012 Weidenfeld & Nicolson) by Pamela Hicks
7. Cultivate blog, photography by Tom Munro
9. India Hicks blog

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