Debora, Redux (Part 1)

May 15, 2013


Debra Lo Magno, Sicilian Fashion Designer, copyright Jann Huizenga


If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you may remember Debora Lo Magno.

I discovered this bejeweled goddess on the church steps near my house.

When we met later, she told me about the long hours she spent in fashion school during the week, her weekend job as a clerk at Benneton, and her long nights sewing Swarovski crystals, like oversized raindrops, onto her misty grey dress.

The inspiration for her work? Her nonna, who was a seamstress, and the lush spring Sicilian countryside.



In late March, Debora had her first runway show! It was evening, in a town I didn’t know. I arrived late and there was a crush of Sicilians in the hall. I had to beg for a seat.

Her brave designs pranced and strutted down the stage, bringing to mind Anais Nin’s words: “Life expands or contracts in proportion to one’s courage.” I could feel Debora’s life expand.

Debora Lo Magno, Sicilian Fashion Designer, copyright Jann Huizenga

Debora Lo Magno, Fashion Designer, copyright Jann Huizenga

Debora Lo Magno, Fashion Designer, copyright Jann HuizengaSeveral other student designers were also in the show.

At the end, awards were given. Debora won the prize for Giovane Promessa,  Young Designer with Promise and she stepped out on the stage to receive her award.

Brava, Debora.

Debora Lo Magno, Sicilian Fashion Designer, copyright Jann Huizenga


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23 comments to Debora, Redux (Part 1)

  • Congratulations, Debora! Jann, I remember that first post. My goodness, what an achievement! The shots place us directly at the scene. I felt like I too had to beg for a chair! hee hee! Hugs! 🙂

  • Debora

    Ciao a tutti!
    Grazie per tutti i vostri commenti, ma soprattutto un grazie va a Jann, che mi segue anche da lontano e crede in me!
    Per qualsiasi informazione potete contattarmi anche al mio indirizzo email: [email protected]
    Un bacio a tutti!
    A presto!

  • I am thrilled to find your blog. I’ve been to Italy 10 times and I write a photo & travel writing blog about Rome (and now Naples and Capri, too). I am in love with Italy but have never visited Sicilia. I am now planning a trip there this autumn. So finding your wonderful blog has been a great gift!!! I love the photographs and stories of Sicilians and the shots of architectural details and peeling paint!!!

    • Jann

      Hi Rebecca–it’s great to meet you! I’m so glad you found me. Thanks for your kind words. I’ve just signed up for your beautiful blog and cannot wait to read/see more of it. I adore Rome, too, but you’ll have to convince me to love Naples.

  • Cathy

    So wonderful and exciting for Debora! Thank you for sharing her success with us Jann… xoxo

  • Anitre M

    I sure remember Debora. Is she planning on marketing her own line of clothing? I would love to wear some of her outfits. Forget Dolce Gabbana! Please, let everyone know, Jann. This girl is amazing. Brava, Debora!

    • Jann

      Anitre–she is taking her exams in Milan in June, and then she’ll be a real working designer! She dreams of New York, so I don’t know exactly what she’ll do yet, but I’ll try to keep you updated. xxxxx

  • I remember Debora. Esp her fabulous kabuki type hairstyle. Congratulations to Debora on her first runway show. A great achievement. Wonderful to see someone fulfilling on their dream. Thanks, Jann xx

  • nancy

    continued success for Debora. Brava !!

  • Rita Price

    Well done to you too Jann for promoting Debora’s talents to a wider audience. Given Sicily’s high unemployment rate, it’s great to see young people creating their own jobs which will no doubt benefit the whole island.

    • Jann

      Thank you Rita. Yes, unemployment for young people in Sicily is something like 38%, so entrepreneurship seems the way to go.

  • Sam

    hubba hubba!!!

  • John Schinina

    Ciao Jann, Goddess she is, it looks like the world is opening the doors to her dreams. Its a wonderful joy when someone as Debora is able to show her talent and get rewards. Wishing Debora lots of good luck.

  • cemal karahan

    congratulations to the pretty little girl…!

  • Congratulations to Debora! It can be scary to follow our dreams, but we’ll never know success if we don’t. Good for her, following her dreams, putting her creations out there, and taking steps toward success! And good for her nonna for being her inspiration!

    • Jann

      Thanks, Debbie. She says she is “misunderstood” in Sicily–perhaps because she is ambitious and creative and female. Quite an unusual combination on the island.

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