After Eights for breakfast, a grump in a tower and a cape fit for a royal coronation… designer India Hicks reveals the secrets behind her favourite things.
I try to remember when we’re stuck in one of David’s vintage cars as it overheats that it is a thing of great beauty. We’ve spent 22 successful years unmarried. I think it’s because we’ve lived together in an exotic land [the Bahamas], bonded by our Englishness.
In the 1960s, my father was famous for creating a geometric alphabet – it went on everything from bread bins to blankets and wallpaper. Turning it into a collection of necklaces for my lifestyle brand [launched in 2015] felt right to me. It was a way to bring the past and present together.
When we spent Christmas with my grandfather [Louis, 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma] at his house Broadlands in Hampshire, and I was too young to join the grown-ups for dinner, my mum would save some After Eights for me to have the next morning for breakfast.
This photo of our children [from left, adopted son Wesley, now 21, Conrad, 15, India, Amory, 19, Felix, 21, and Domino, ten], taken a few years ago, reminds me of how quickly time passes. Conrad now towers over me. I’ve always tried to blend family and work life into one.
My partner David [Flint Wood, former ad executive] is a ferocious reader – it makes him one of the most interesting people to live with. He loves F Scott Fitzgerald so I went on the hunt for a first edition of The Great Gatsby for his 55th birthday a couple of years ago.
My mother, Lady Pamela Hicks [former lady-in-waiting to the Queen], wore this velvet cape to King George VI’s coronation aged eight – it’s now Domino’s. My mother is the backbone of my life – when my temper flares, I think how gracious she would be.
My father David [Hicks, the late interior designer] built this tower in the garden of my parents’ estate, The Grove in Oxfordshire. We used to call it ‘Grump Tower’ because he disappeared there when he was furious. He left me with an appreciation for colour and to have courage of conviction.
When I turned 50 last year, I was travelling a lot. I wanted a moisturiser I could take everywhere. Working with beauty industry veteran Catherine Walsh, we created Supreme Cream. It’s packed with both natural and high-tech active ingredients.
India Hicks’s lifestyle collection is now shipping to the UK. For more information, visit indiahicks.com
Interview by Fiona McCarthy