In the Bag: Davina Wedderburn

Words by Yu Mei
Photo supplied

Davina carries her Teresa Tote in Brunette Deer Nappa on the cobblestone streets of London.

Davina Wedderburn has mastered the balancing act of her role at the British Fashion Council with her role as a mother. A backbone of the London fashion industry, Davina talks to us about a pivotal moment at a bus stop, times of bravery, and conscious purchasing.


I am a communications specialist and currently the Head of Brand and Communications at the British Fashion Council. I have been lucky enough to work in Communications and PR since I graduated. While I was at university, I was working at Topshop Oxford Circus, and after I graduated, I was keen to get my career off the ground because, honestly, I was pretty bored of working in retail. One day, on my way to work, I got off the bus, looked at Topshop, and immediately called my manager to say I wouldn’t be in today. I hopped back on the bus, and as soon as I got home, started researching fashion PR agencies in search of an internship or a job. One of the people I emailed that day was an amazing man named David Marsh, who at the time worked at Modus (now Modus BPCM). That same week I went in for an interview and the rest, I guess, is history.

At this moment, what drives me is the pursuit of meaningful work—to make a difference, big or small, and for what I am doing to make an impact.

A recent rewarding moment for my career was the Pandora Leader of Change Award for The Fashion Awards, 2023—working with the incredible Michaela Coel (the 2023 award recipient) so closely was truly special. To hear her speak in such an intimate setting, and the words she spoke, will stay with me forever.

Throughout my career, I have learned many lessons, but one that instantly comes to mind is to be kind and respectful to everyone. The communications/PR industry is incredibly incestuous, and I would say you can guarantee that you will encounter the same people over and over again in different guises.


As I’ve got older, I have become better at setting boundaries when it comes to finding work-life balance, but there’s still room for improvement. I love a good routine, but since having kids I am a little easier on myself if things fall off. My mornings usually start at about 5 am. First things first is a cup of tea; hot water and lemon, green tea, or an English breakfast with oat milk. And then into the shower before getting the boys sorted for nursery and school. We hop into the car to do the first of two school drops—the boys are obsessed with Michael Jackson at the moment, so we pop on some MJ and off we go.

When working from home, I usually prep or cook dinner during my lunch break (when I get to take it) and aim for a hard stop once the boys are home just before 6 pm. Between this time and around 7.30 pm, they have my attention—dinner, bath, story, and bed. Once the boys are down, it’s either gym, dinner, or back on my laptop. Of course, there are also many evenings when I am out at industry events with friends.

When thinking about times of personal bravery, the first thing that comes to mind is giving birth to my beautiful boys. Another is being comfortable letting go of people—whether they are friendships that may have been in my life for years—and not worrying or overthinking about why they have ended. Professionally, conversations I had when returning to work after my first baby were some of the punchiest conversations and emails I have had to have and send to date.

My happy places are at home with my boys and husband, in a cosy restaurant with my friends and good food (having real and honest conversations or remembering and singing 90’s R&B songs), and on the beach with a good book.


I would say I am an organised person. Is there any other way to be? I like things to be in order and it helps me to be prepared and equipped to tackle the day. I use a physical diary as a notebook daily (mainly for work) to jot down to-do’s, deadlines etc. I love a list!

In my bag, you are pretty much guaranteed to find my card holder, phone, house keys, lip balm, headphones, and spare hair bands. You’ll probably also find [enter the name of a superhero or popular kids show] printed tissues (tell me you’re a mum without telling me you’re a mum), a comb, brush, and a head scarf depending on how I am wearing my hair. I never (ever) leave the house without earrings—often a classic gold hoop.

My bags are always pretty organised—I tend to carry two most days for work; a smaller across the body with my essentials and a larger tote for my laptop, notebook, and pencil case (I am a stationary connoisseur).

When I am travelling, to be honest, I hate packing (and unpacking). I have always said that if I were mega-rich, I would pay (waste my money) someone to pack and unpack for me. In terms of my non-negotiables, I will always carry hydrating and nourishing skin products in my hand luggage, as well as spare hair bands, water, and lip balm. I never travel without a book, even if it’s likely I won’t get time to read it. Other than that, I’m pretty laid back.


I would say my style is classic, minimal, and tonal, with a focus on clean lines and an oversized silhouette (with an occasional sporty twist)—always complemented with a statement earring. My approach to dressing has evolved with age. I’ve always dressed minimally, but a few years ago I made a conscious decision to buy smarter—I buy neutral, great-quality pieces that make me feel good. These pieces aren’t trend-led, which means I will enjoy and wear them for a lifetime. When you feel good in something, you’ll wear it over and over again. This approach makes dressing so much easier and quicker, as everything I have works together.

The most special pieces I own are my wedding, engagement, and push-present rings. They are very meaningful to me. My wedding band is set with stones that represent the number of years my husband and I had been together when we got married, and the push-presents have the boys’ names, birth dates, and times they were born engraved.

I am inspired by Campbell Addy, Martine Rose, Christina Ebenezer, Seye Isikalu, and Ekua King. Simply, for their authenticity, and their incredible ability to be, showcase, depict, or capture someone being 100% their authentic selves. For making people and communities feel seen. For stepping out of their comfort zone. Daniel Kaluuya, Kane Robinson, Abi Daré, Caleb Azumah Nelson, Phoebe Philo, and Precious Lee are other creatives who embody this.


A ‘life hack’ for the working mamas out there is to turn getting ready in the morning into a game (this saves you from asking them to do the same thing a million times)—we play ‘beat the clock.’ Simply set a timer and tell them that they need to get ready before the alarm sounds—it works a treat with my boys.

I have two learnings moving into 2024: What is meant for me will arrive in clarity, not confusion.

And, if you stay in environments where people don’t recognise your value, you will shrink your gift to the size they can stand.

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