You may know India Hicks as the stunning Bahamas-based beauty that is roughly 500th in line for the British throne (that’s right, Prince Charles is her godfather and she served as a bridesmaid for the late Princess Diana). She is also an entrepreneur, former model and author. Now, Hicks is adding designer to her resume with a collection of fine jewellery that is available exclusively in Canada at Holt Renfrew.
We had the opportunity to sit down with the designer while she was in Toronto to chat about her creative inspiration and her transition into design.
HR: You have cultivated a lifestyle brand with books, fragrances, and most recently an online shop, why did you decide to design a fine jewellery collection?
Hicks: It was always an idea I had subconsciously. I was very aware of jewellery growing up. My mother inherited an incredible collection of jewellery from her mother and I have very strong memories of her going out for dinner and pulling out her jewellery case and watching her try on various pieces. So my fascination with fine jewellery started at a young age and has always been there subconsciously.
HR: Your father was a legendary designer known for his bold geometric patterns; did you draw inspiration from his designs?
Hicks: It definitely has influenced my designs. Although, I did run off to an island and start my own life that was unconnected to anything from my past. It wasn’t about being a goddaughter to Prince Charles, or a bridesmaid for Princess Diana, it was about me being me. But even in the 16 years that I have being living my very individual life, there are definitely hints of my father everywhere—in the way that I decorate, the way that I live, and the choices I make. Especially from a design perspective, although I live a very island life and have developed a distinct island style, there always seems to be a shocking pink chair in there— I can’t seem to get rid of it.
HR: You’ve lived on an island in the Bahamas for the past 16 years. You’ve named one of your collections Island Living and even written a book called Island life. Why is island living such a big part of your identity?
Hicks: None of the choices I’ve made have been deliberate. It’s just been a natural progression of little steps—I never really had a plan. My father had designed a very extraordinary house on a neighbouring island and so I knew that island very well, and I was familiar with the people and the way of life. I fell in love with someone and just never wanted to leave.
HR: Who are you designing your collections for?
Hicks: I design for myself because I think if you’re not happy with it you’re not going to want other people to wear it. The pieces are for a strong individual woman. They are strong in their designs, but are also understated. I like the fact that they’re very wearable. I’m wearing fine jewellery, but I wouldn’t expect to be mugged in the street for it—it’s not bling.
HR: Of your three collections which is your favourite?
Hicks: That’s like asking which child I like the most! I love them all in different ways. At the moment, I might even like my jewellery more than my children because they’ve been very naughty lately—just kidding. Each collection is so different that they can’t really be compared. The Love Letter collection is just so easy and I love the fact that it is very affordable. The Island Living collection is very timeless—you can buy a piece and love it forever. The Hicks on Hicks collection is stronger, it’s very geometric and bold—my favourite are the diamond dog tags.