Starting her career aged seventeen modelling for Emilio Pucci, India Hicks spent the best part of the 80's & 90's jetting around the world working as a model, appearing in campaigns by J Crew, Ralph Lauren & magazines from Tatler to Vogue & Harpers Bazaar.
Having moved to the sun-drenched Bahamas in the early 90's, India now runs her own beautiful, self designed hotel where she lives with her long-term partner David Flint Wood & her four children, as well as being the face of Viyella, creating her own fragrances with Crabtree & Evelyn & designing a line of India Hicks fine jewellery.
As she spends most of her time by the gorgeous Bahamian beach, we decided who better to start a series of Melissa In Conversation With... pieces?
How would you describe your beach style?
India: Simple & strong, with more than a hint of James Bond - see my picture below! Unfortunately I don't get much time to just lie on the beach, my children have me up & about & running all over the place, so I need something I feel comfortable in. I love vintage inspired suits, like this year's Melissa Odabash 'Maui' - the perfect re-imagination of the classic Ursula Andress bikini.
Which Melissa Odabash 2013 pieces are on your beach must-have list?
I: For me, a Bali swimsuit - a true extravagance, but wouldn't it be worth it? Such a sleek, classic shape with such incredible beadwork, a real showstopper!
And of course, for my daughter, the Baby Alexandra in pink dots - being called Domino she is obsessed with anything spotty & lives in a world of dots.
If you could pick one piece for a stylish lunch by the beach, what would it be?
I: Definitely a cheetah-print Louise, the perfect silk kaftan, I can imagine looking uber-glamorous in it, flowing about me in the breeze. Teamed with some flat Jimmy Choo sandals & minimal gold jewellery, it's the most glamorous lunch look I can think of!
What is the perfect poolside accessory?
I: A stylish house in the Bahamas of course. What use would a pool or beach be if there was no house to go with it?!
Flats or heels?
I. Flats, flats, flats! I spend so much time dashing about the island that there is no other option. I also think a good sandal is much chic-er than trying to navigate the sandy beach in an impractical pair of heels!
What do you wear to go exploring around the town?
I: Cut off denim shorts and a cotton peasant blouse, like the Melissa Odabash Alaia with a pair of battered white Converse. I normally have four or five of my children in tow, so would expect to be smudged in ice-cream by the end of the expedition, so nothing too glamorous!
What would you wear for an evening out, Bahamian-style?
I: Anything simple, gauzy and sweeping to the floor with chic, flat leather sandals, and layers upon layers of jingling gold bangles, damp hair tied back in a ponytail and a piece of India Hicks Island Living Fine Jewellery from my own collection, which I am never without!
What is your top tip for looking stylish on holiday?
I: The one that everyone already knows: never try too hard.
What is your ultimate holiday style-sin?
I: For myself? Wearing jeans too much of the time, terribly lazy. The only excuse is that most of the time our holidays involve extreme stuff for vile teenage boys for which one must be suitably attired!
What key items are always in your suitcase?
I: Do not pack at the last minute, panic packing leads to over packing. Pack the classics. A breton tee, a simple pair of gold Indian sandals that can be worn for day or night & sexy underwear to remind you you're alive.
Whose holiday style do you admire?
I: Carolyn Bessette, I had the great fortune to work with her on occasion before her tragic death with John Kennedy, she was polished and slick with great individual style, very chic & really owned her look.
Where in the world is your favourite destination for a holiday?
I: Home, Harbour Island. The only place my kids want to be.