India Hicks in Boston
When I RSVP’d to the 2015 Spring Showcase at the Boston Design Center featuring designer India Hicks, words like ‘sophisticated’ and ‘privileged’ came to mind.
My short list of expectations, however, did not include ‘down-to-earth’ or ‘self-deprecating,’ although India was both while presenting her hour-long slide show. With humor and poignant anecdotes, she shared images and stories of her business, background, family, and Bahamian home on Harbor Island.
Similarities don’t readily come to mind when one looks at her list of titles:
- Former Ralph Lauren and J. Crew model
- Daughter of American designer David Hicks and British aristocrat Lady Pamela Mountbatten
-687th in line for the British throne,
- Goddaughter and second cousin of Prince Charles of Wales (and a bridesmaid in his wedding to Lady Diana Spencer)
But it’s hard to disagree with her homegrown maxims like “never negotiate with a cocktail in hand,” and “mother nature gives us so many ideas to steal.”
India admitted to an atypical childhood, a spoiled upbringing, and aversion to domesticity – she said more than once, “I don’t cook, but I do direct.”
Then came other sprinkles of humility like this one––the design book her father dedicated to her, the youngest of the Hicks children, was the one about bathrooms.
She spoke highly of her 85-year-old mother, but balanced the praise with confessions that the family matriarch never cooked or washed her own hair.
Despite the lifestyle gap between herself and most of her audience members, India strove to find common ground:
- Work and family balance
- Preparing a party for more guests than expected
- Maintaining peace in a modern world
- Pursuing your own passions, especially for women
India tried to persuade her audience that they all shared more qualities with her and each other than they may realize, a point she reiterates in her blog (which is really more like a personal diary).
Her parting words? “We’re all feeling the same.”
Tip: Check your expectations at the door. You may be pleasantly surprised by the result.
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