David Hicks is considered to be among the foremost interior designers of the 20th century. From the decoration of his own house in London in 1956—in powerful colors that heralded an end to the drab, postwar English look—he set the pace for interior design both in Europe and America. His style suited the Bahamas at the time perfectly with his signature prints on crisp linen in pastel hues, and with his salvaged architectural gems found on his travels through the mainland flanking sand-clad walls inside and out.
After their honeymoon visit to Eleuthera in 1960, David Hicks and his wife, Lady Pamela Hicks, bought a plot of land on Windemere Island and spent the years after building a spectacular island retreat. Savannah House, as it was named, was roughly completed around 1967, and recently having gone under a loving renovation after storm damage in 2013. www.coastalliving.com/homes/india-hicks-rebuilding-the-past
India Hicks was born in London, England, and comes from both British and design royalty. Her father was famed interior decorator David Hicks; her mother is Lady Pamela Hicks, whose father was Admiral of the Fleet, the first Earl of Mountbatten of Burma and the last Viceroy of India, hence India’s name. Lady Pamela was a bridesmaid in Queen Elizabeth’s wedding to Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who is Lady Pamela’s first cousin.
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, when she was only 13. 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 the designer of India Hicks Living and a creator of lifestyle products.
The ever British, socialite-in-residence of Harbour Island for over 20 years, tells how she went from David Hick’s Savannah mausoleum to her Harbour Island residence of Hibiscus Hill:
”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.”
David was managing a small, funky hotel on neighboring Harbour Island, known for its pink sand beaches. 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 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 to airports, 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.”
”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.”
India Hicks: A Love Story About the Bahamas and Me. by KAREN TINA HARRISON
By work India refers to her co-owned boutique the Sugar Mill on Harbour Island. The Sugar Mill was actually a functioning sugar mill circa 1925. The boutique opened in November 2005 with Linda Griffin’s (co-owner) and India’s original vision of offering a boutique shop filled with global treasures for all ages and even 4-legged friends, is still very much alive today.
India Hicks founded her new self-titled company in early 2015. After years of creating collections for traditional retail, she decided to take a different, and far more personal, route in launching her own brand. The exclusive collections of well-crafted gifts, beauty and accessories are all designed by India.
THE LONE TREE
Located on what’s known as Girl’s Bank on the western side of Harbour Island is a much-photographed tree skeleton. Lone Tree washed up in Hurricane Andrew in 1992 and landed upright with its intricate root ball supporting it at its base. The original tree washed away in another hurricane, but it had gained so much popularity and become such a landmark that it was eventually replaced by another, much larger tree that was strategically “planted” in the sand flats. It resembles a piece of art in the vast sand flats. It has been featured in magazines and is a popular spot for photography.
Visit Eleuthera on Yacht Sweet Escape on charter. Explore Harbour Island, Spanish Wells, Egg Island, Royal Island, Lighthouse Point, Surfer’s Beach and more!