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India Hicks launches fine jewelry inspired by famous father David Hicks

June 2, 2011 |  3:53 pm

India-1[1] India Hicks has lived quite a life in her 43 years. A British royal, who is the second cousin and goddaughter of Prince Charles, she was introduced to the world stage at age 13, as one of Princess Diana's bridesmaids. Her mother, Pamela Hicks, a daughter of Countess Mountbatten of Burma and the last Viceroy of India, was a bridesmaid to Queen Elizabeth. And India's father, David Hicks, is the iconic 1960s and '70s interior designer known for his geometric patterns and vivid colors on textiles and carpets. 

India Hicks has been a top fashion model for Ralph Lauren and Tods, an entrepreneur who created the Island Living body and home fragrance line for Crabtree and Evelyn, and a TV host on the second season of the Bravo series "Top Design."

She's done most of it while raising four kids about as far away from pomp and circumstance as you can get -- at her home in Harbour Island, Bahamas. There, she is also a hotelier and co-owner of the boutique Sugar Mill Trading Co. Oh yeah, she's an author too; her latest book titled "Island Life" is full of photos of the lush plantation house she shares with her husband David Flint Wood.

But now, after several exhausting months of being a TV talking head during that other royal wedding, India is taking on a new role, as a jewelry designer. 

Jewelrycollage India Hicks Fine Jewelry draws inspiration from her father's aesthetic with three different collections. The Hicks on Hicks collection (top right, $995 to $8,000) based on her father's famous hexagonal patterns, is bold and architectural, with thick cuff bracelets, chunky rings and medallions. The Initials collection (middle right, $175 to $1,700), is inspired by his love of monograms, featuring 18-karat gold, silver and diamond charms with interlocking letters. The Island Life collection (bottom right, $325 to $1,995) is her most personal, beach-inspired with matte sterling silver shell pendants and earrings with dangling silver "fishtails."  

The jewelry will debut on the India Hicks website next month, and in Bloomingdales stores in August.

I have always had a soft spot for David Hicks, ever since I scored a Hicks couch at the Divine Design charity sale nearly 10 years ago. The piece, in a bright magenta-and-wine La Fiorentina diamond pattern, is the centerpiece of our living room, and still makes me happy every time I see it. 

When it comes to fashion, quite a few designers have borrowed from the Hicks aesthetic -- Tory Burch and Diane von Furstenberg among them. David Hicks' son Ashley Hicks, an architect and furniture designer, has kept his father's legacy alive by publishing several books about him (Tom Ford wrote the foreword to one), and by reissuing his signature patterns on carpets, tiles and textiles. Meanwhile, everywhere from Target to West Elm have been inspired by the Hicks style.

"At first, I felt strange, like I was copying the people who have copied him," India Hicks said Wednesday. "But you can't help it. His aesthetic is just so strong."

Hicks hosted a lunch at the Chateau Marmont to preview the line. The guest list was a mix of fashion and interiors worlds, with decorators Nathan Turner and Mary McDonald fresh off the debut of their new Bravo show "Million Dollar Decorator," designer-socialite Minnie Mortimer, celebrity stylists Tanya Gill and Paris Libby, and boutique owner Jill Roberts. 

When you meet her, Hicks is immediately disarming, and seems to be a total free spirit. From the look of her tan, she must live in a bikini, but I asked her if she ever wore jewelry anyway. She inherited some major pieces (royal jewels perhaps?) but admitted she doesn't wear them that much because they are somewhat grand and old-fashioned. Her lifestyle is more low-key -- and affordable, she explained, pointing to her leopard print blouse from Zara and raffia belt from TopShop. And the jewelry has been designed with that in mind.

Because there's not much in the way of fashion to buy in the Bahamas (there's not even a dry cleaners where she lives), Hicks was planning to drop into Fred Segal before taking off for Las Vegas, where she is showing the new collection at the JCK jewelry trade show.

"The last time I was in Las Vegas was 23 years ago," she said. "I was backpacking with a boyfriend. We rented a car and broke the speedometer, so it only looked like we had gone three miles." 

Ah, the life of a renegade royal.

-- Booth Moore

Top photo: India Hicks. Credit: Brittan Goetz

Bottom photos: Pieces from Hicks' jewlery line. Credit: India Hicks

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