India Hicks: This side of Paradise

When life's a beach – The MOdel, author, designer and mother of five leads an idyllic existence on Harbour Island

Photographs by Brittan Goetz | Words by Natasha Inchley

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  2. The Bahamas couldn't be further removed from your base in London – what inspired you to take up island life? My father [the British interior designer, David Hicks] had built an extraordinary house on a neighbouring island so I was very familiar with this part of the world. My partner David [Flint Wood] was the one who decided he didn’t want to have a life in London and so we decided to start a life together here. It was odd at first, quite lonely and very remote. I was pregnant very quickly, and then family became the centre of it all. I soon learnt that as long as you have family, it's all fine. We have four children and a foster child [Felix, 15, Amory, 13, Conrad, 10, Domino, 5, and Wesley, 16], so there are five very strong characters living in this house in addition to David and myself. Our life is definitely full.

It must have been quite dizzying growing up in your father’s designed world? Absolutely – in the late 60s and early 70s it was all about vibrating colours and tinted rooms in shades of salmon and scarlet. It was quite explosive from a design point of view. When I first moved to the island, I was very conscious of putting my own stamp on things but, of course, I soon realised how incredibly inspired I have been by my father, and I have found it so fascinating researching his archives for my own collections.

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"It’s very important to be an individual and to have confidence. One of the greatest lessons in life is to have conviction in what you’re doing."

– India hicks

In an impressively short time, you've built a successful lifestyle brand based on the beach: Nothing I’ve done has been a strategic path of any kind; everything has been a kind of stepping stone. Right back at the beginning, going to a slightly obscure school in the north of Scotland led me to be brave enough to travel around the world backpacking for a year, which then led me to take a photography course and then I found myself on the other side of the camera and started modelling. But modelling is quite a lonely life so I eventually decided that I needed to find something different and that was the island. What I have found is that all of my collections come from the same DNA, it’s all very true to who I am.

How do you balance work with home life? It’s exactly all about that word “balance” – there are moments when the balance is off and you have to realign it and then there are the sleepless nights when I worry that I am a distracted mother or I’m not being professional in my business. But that’s no different to any other working mother out there. I’m very privileged to have help and I recognise that daily, but it’s also about accepting that you will always feel guilt in some way.

And when you need to recharge? I run a lot, it’s like an energiser for me. I run three marathons a year and train quite hard for them; I have three big dogs that need exercise and I’ve also started biking and doing weight training with a girlfriend.

What is the greatest lesson your children have taught you? One tends to be quite self-involved but as soon as you have children that changes – you’re suddenly very low down on the list.

And, lastly, what is the message you hope to instil in them? That it’s very important to be an individual and to have confidence. I think one of the greatest lessons in life is to have conviction in what you’re doing. Love is incredibly important and can get you through most things and so I hope, above everything, that my children know they are all that is important to me. 

 

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India Hicks

Tsikuri Sarong — $56

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India Hicks

Canvas Tote — $62

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india Hicks

Island Living Eau de Toilette — $55

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