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Performing Art
Arts and Entertainment Wednesday, Jun. 30, 2010 7 years ago

'The toast of the town'

by: Heidi Kurpiela Contributing Writer

Lorenzo Hubbard commands attention like it’s his job.

Oh, wait — it is his job.

A dapper, feisty, unapologetic self-promoter, 44-year-old Hubbard is an interior designer, public speaker, speech writer, author, image consultant and former Detroit police officer.

He moved to Sarasota one year ago, and in those 12 months wrote a novel, filmed 24 episodes of BLAB TV’s “On the Town with Lorenzo” and emceed both Art Center Sarasota’s (icon)cept fashion show and Children First’s annual Galaxy Awards Dinner.

Now he’s working on designing a hot new Sarasota nightclub, the décor of which he describes as “Sex and the City” meets “RuPaul’s Drag Race” meets “Extreme Home Makeover” meets “Celebrity Chef,” which, in a nutshell, encapsulates Hubbard’s personality.

It’s 8 p.m. on a Tuesday night and Hubbard is strolling down Main Street dressed in uncharacteristically neutral tones: lightweight khaki blazer, newsboy cap, white Oxford shirt and denim jeans. The look is so clean-cut, so prepster Gap ad, that Hubbard immediately comments on it.

“I usually wear brighter colors,” he chirps. “But tonight I went for something a little different.”

Could it be that Hubbard, a man who bragged about owning two Gucci kimonos at this year’s (icon)cept fashion show, is toning down his image?

“I’m subdued in clothes, but not in spirit,” he says.

He maneuvers past the hostess at Selva Grill, pulls up to the bar and orders an MGD 64, a 64-calorie beer.

“I have to work on my brand constantly,” Hubbard says. “From what I eat, to how many times I go to the gym, to the cafés I frequent, to the people I hang out with. It would be great if I had the luxury to let go, but I can’t. My image is my brand.”

Hubbard believes in karma and the law of attraction, that positive thoughts attract positive things: wealth, success, joy and good health, to name a few. Every day he reads “The Secret,” a new age self-help book that reinforces this belief system.

“You make it known which things you’d like in life and you attract those things by being positive,” Hubbard says.

Hubbard is so faithful to the law of attraction that he won’t sign a contract for his show’s third season until the contestants from Oprah Winfrey’s “Your OWN Show” reality talk-show competition are announced.

Hubbard submitted a three-minute audition tape this spring pitching a show titled “All About You,” dedicated to people who “motivate, educate, inspire and entertain us everyday.”

As soon as the video was uploaded to Oprah’s website, Hubbard cleared his schedule for September and October, the competition’s taping dates.

“It works,” Hubbard says of his relentlessly upbeat attitude. “It’s why in every city I’ve ever lived I was well-known within a month and moving within the best social circles. I never accept anything other than the best.”

A Pittsburgh native, Hubbard hosted his own cable-access show when he was in high school. The program was about fashion trends, eating healthy and exercising — topics he’s yet to exhaust.

He finished college at 20 and immediately joined the Detroit Police Department, following in the footsteps of his deputy chief grandfather.

Unable to deny his flair for style, Hubbard opened an interior-design firm his first year on the force and juggled both jobs for 10 years.

In 1997, he purchased and rehabbed the dilapidated Hall-Oldsmobile Mansion in Detroit’s Boston-Arden Park Historic District. The estate would later serve as the launch pad for Hubbard’s Michigan-based design show, “That’s Got to Go!”

Hubbard has been vying for Winfrey’s job for a long time.

It’s why he gets manicures and drinks 64-calorie beer. It’s why the name of his production company is Lucashay Productions and why, according to Hubbard, the definition of “lucashay” is “fabulous beyond words.”

It’s why, despite his recent penchant for white and khaki, Hubbard still makes a bold statement when he walks into a room.

“There’s nothing wrong with being your own PR person,” Hubbard says. “I’m not trying to be Mary Poppins. My goal is to be a household name. I can’t do that by being shy. When I make it to the top, I can let other people blow my horn.”


Image control

Here are Lorenzo Hubbard’s top five tips to polishing your presence.

Ω “A smile is worth a million bucks.”
Ω “Your nails should always be done.”
Ω “A man should never buy shoes on sale.”
Ω “Stand up straight. A person’s posture says a lot about his personality.”
Ω “Don’t just make an impression when you walk into a room, leave one when you exit.”

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