India Hicks: a Love Story About the Bahamas and Me

Royal Brit designer could live anywhere, but chose Harbour Island

Pink sand beach on Harbour Island the Bahamas
••• Harbour Island is famous for its pink sand beaches, and for India Hicks. ©Getty Images

Presenting India Hicks (But You Know Her Already)

Luxury Travel is fortunate to have Bahamas resident India Hicks talk about her glamorous yet meaningful life based on Harbour Island.

India Hicks has led a very interesting life. This regal Briton is the granddaughter of Lord Mountbatten, the last Viceroy to India (and hence her name). India is 678th in succession to the British throne. (Brits do keep count.)

India was thrust into the spotlight early in her life. She was asked to be a bridesmaid in Princess Diana and Prince Charles' 1980 royal wedding in London. More recently, India served as a TV commentator for the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton.

For years, India was a busy fashion model and the "face" of the Ralph Lauren label. Today, she is a designer of India Hicks Living and a creator of lifestyle products for Crabtree & Evelyn.

In her own words. India tells us about her very individualistic life. And she points out what she loves about Harbour Island, her home in the Bahamas.

In India's words: "I already knew my future husband. The year was 1995. I was working as a model in New York. I rediscovered David, who would become my other half."

"Let me explain about "rediscovered," she adds. "When we both lived in England, David had been a friend of my older sister Edwina. On occasion he would pick me up from school."

"After many separate adventures we re-met in the Bahamas. I had been spending time in the extraordinary mausoleum of a house that my father, designer David Hicks, built the year I was born. One of my family traditions is escaping Britain for the Bahamas!"

"On my future husband David's part, he had decided to escape England. He was managing a small, funky hotel on neighboring Harbour Island, known for its pink sand beaches." (Shown in pic above. I turned up there unannounced to go diving. David now describes this as "our Casablanca movie moment."

"It was that romantic. I left New York and moved to Harbour Island...this tiny Bahamian "out island" off of Eleuthera. I imagined that David and I would take it one day at a time. Over 20 years later, David and I are there on Harbour Island in our house, Hibiscus Hill. We have five kids, three dogs, a parrot, a cat, and a tortoise."

"I have a deep love for Harbour Island. It changed me. I had been modeling all over the world up until that moment, mainly living out of a suitcase. Moving from city to city, running after flights, showing up in the morning looking my best even if I felt my worst. On Harbour Island, everything was different. I was able to breathe in the fresh air, stand on the bare earth, and take hold of time."

"Island life has now made me so much more aware of the elements and their power. I am conscious of the winds and tides, the phases of the moon, the moods of the sun. I have learned to respect Mother Nature and to take her three-month hurricane season seriously!"

"Harbour Island has also had a powerful effect on my work. I became inspired by the Bahamas, a nation of people at ease with themselves. In the Bahamas, beauty cannot be defined or stereotyped. It is not seen as a blessing bestowed upon only a select few, but as something within every one of us."

"This idea of everyone's unique beauty inspires me personally and professionally. It is the foundation of the work that I did for the beauty and bath company Crabtree & Evelyn, and now for my own beauty balms and accessories for my own company."

"The relationship between Harbour Island and everything I do is is a reciprocal one. The island has a profound influence on my home and my designs and creative projects. I feel that Harbour Island has something to say about everything I do."

"My design collections are inspired by the lifestyle I lead on Harbour Island, this beautiful Bahamian island. It is a calmer way of life. I am not fanatically green, but we try to lead a less wasteful, more responsible life, one in which we are very aware of how precious our environment is."

"My mission is to bring Harbour Island's healthy, natural lifestyle to the larger world. In 2015 I launched India Hicks London-Harbour Island, which I intend to celebrate us as individuals, with our own beauty and tastes. So I design a range of beauty products and accessories.  Nothing in the line is frivolous. Everything is essential, gentle, and lasting. Extraordinary Oil for your face, body, hair...everywhere. There is nothing that gives a temporary fix. It's all good for you and the place you live in." (Here's the catalogue.) 

"In 2015 I published my third book, Island Style, about my cooking and my flowers. Everything grows here, including your passion and creativity. The island organically molds and influences my thoughts and my designs. In all that I do, endeavor to use as many local craftspeople as possible and support the many Bahamian charities that need help."

"I've also curated an art collection for Amazon Art Collectors. The idea is that anyone can "collect art." I'm not sure what that means. You fall in love with something and want it near you. "Collecting" is such a pretentious word. This is about love. Art is about loving something you see."

To find out more about India Hicks and her Harbour Island, Bahamas lifestyle, check out her fashion and lifestyle website, indiahicks.com, read her diary-like blog.indiahicks.com, see her gorgeous photos on Pinterest. Here on TripSavvy, see how India looks and feels her best inflight, even in coach, and read  India's picks of the best things to do where she lives, Harbour Island.