This week, we speak to India Hicks on her new design for Tusting, the Rex bag, which we have just launched and which is sold in aid of The Prince’s Trust and their Women Supporting Women Project. We find out what inspired the bag’s design, name and cause as well as what India might do if she ever took any time off.

The Rex bag is a new style for Tusting, where did the design inspiration come from?

The goal was simple. The challenge was anything but.

A bag that could glide from the spectator spot on the edge of the school hockey pitch to a lost romantic weekend in Paris. There was no-one better to help me on this creative mission than my cousin Isabella, also a mother of 5, an ardent adventurer, who recently brought her Rex, in its sample phase, to a base camp in the snow, where she was involved with the ultimate winter challenge ‘Everest in the Alps’. She’s a woman who carries not only optimism and joy with her but also, regularly, a good-looking bag over her shoulder.

Together, over the course of several months, we trialled samples of different fashions, fabrics and fastenings of a bag that could not only be folded flat to be packed but also transform and adapt at a moment’s notice.

And how did it come to be named Rex?

The right name for the bag eluded us for months, and it was actually my mother who suggested the simple but very classic Latin word for king. We had already chosen the gorgeous, royal purple lining as a nod to the coronation and the founder of The Prince’s Trust becoming King, so it seemed a perfect choice. Then I found Stretch using my final sample as a (matching) cushion as if he was some kind of pint-sized Roman Emperor, so apparently he approves.

We love the subtle nod to the coronation; thanks to your close connection to the King, you had a busy TV schedule covering the ceremony and processions, what was the highlight of the day for you?

Sitting in the BBC green room with a fascinating young female historian who kept shouting at the television screen during the ceremony “No shoes on the medieval flooring” and “They’ve got the sceptre the wrong way round” alongside Britain’s beloved cheeky chef Jamie Oliver, looking surprisingly un-scruffy.

Being with Jamie made me think that one of the stranger aspects of the modern British monarchy is that its special occasions come with an official dish; curried chicken for the Queen’s coronation, and now a ceremonial quiche for King Charles. Britain is sometimes a strange and unfathomable place.

What inspires you most working with the Prince’s Trust charity and how can others get involved? Will The Trust continue now that The Prince is The King?

An example to us all, early on in his life King Charles brought awareness to sustainability, deforestation, and alternate energy. He talked about threats to humanity with our overcrowded planet and the hazards and tensions that climate change would bring when the rest of us were still just sitting around on our sofas in a dumb haze wondering if ozone depletion was really a thing.

But possibly most impressive was his bold idea of using his severance pay from the Navy to start an initiative to help disadvantaged youth, people who would otherwise have no voice, those for whom hope was the rarest of sensations, and for whom a secure life was a distant prospect. How could we not be inspired by this? The King reassuringly remains in his role as president of the Trust.

What’s your favourite way to decompress? (We’re heading for our third Bank Holiday in May in the UK and running out of ideas!)

It’s funny how few of us now have the time to watch a full-length feature movie but we do find the time to binge watch the latest Netflix series. Decompression for me would be a marathon run of The Diplomat whilst emptying a box of Charbonnel & Walker chocolates – interesting fact: both Charbonnel & Walker and Tusting were founded in 1875.

What’s in your Rex bag? 

Unlike the rain bonnet that is perennially in my mother’s handbag you would always find Tata Harper lip balm in mine – I don’t mind my hair getting wet, but I do mind dry lips.

To find our more about The Prince’s Trust and how to get involved, click here. To follow India, click here.

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