‘Fabulous & Opinionated’ Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez bring their celeb-inspired lessons to Chicago.
If there’s one thing that can be said with certainty about Tom Fitzgerald and Lorenzo Marquez — or TLo, as they’ve been affectionately dubbed by fans — it’s that they’re unabashedly themselves. Together, the real-life couple run Tomandlorenzo.com, a celebrity lifestyle blog that takes an acerbic look at everything from fashion to “RuPaul’s Drag Race.” More than 10 million avid readers show up each month to soak in the pair’s razor-sharp commentary (a recent example: a takedown of Anne Hathaway’s street style). That staggering stat inspired the outspoken men to pen their first book, Everyone Wants to Be Me or Do Me, which they’ll be signing April 10 at Barnes & Noble (55 Old Orchard Center, Skokie).
Tom, a former ad man, and Lorenzo, a former professor, launched their blog eight years ago as a hobby (“A very time-consuming hobby,” Lorenzo laughs). The two, who’ve been a couple for 17 years and tied the knot in July, were pleasantly surprised by the fan base that followed. “I don’t think we’re writing about things that are innovative or that other people aren’t writing about,” Tom says. “Whatever success we’ve had is because we stay true to our own voices.” And while the medium has changed, the new tome is still shot through with the couple’s uncensored opinion. “It’s purely through our eyes and out of our mouths,” Tom says. “People find that entertaining, and it’s why we don’t have ghost writers and why we don’t have editors. It’s just the two of us.”
In the book, they debunk myths surrounding celebrity culture. “I think the most interesting part about the site, about the book and what we do is make our readers understand that [celebrity] is marketing, it’s a fantasy,” Lorenzo says. “[For example], we knew that celebrities get most of their stuff for free, but our readers had no clue that all that jewelry, all those shoes and bags are free. And they felt bad about themselves because they didn’t have a $15,000 coat, you know?”
Though it isn’t intended to be a self-help book, it certainly contains valuable lessons. There’s even a chapter called “The Beauty Myth,” which explains why health and beauty tips are actually the last things fans should look to celebs for. “That’s the stuff that celebrities tell you about as if they were experts, and it’s all the stuff that they’re horrible at,” Tom says. “What they’re really good at is creating images and telling stories about themselves to the public to sell that image.”
Unlike the stars they playfully skewer, the two refuse to fall victim to their own success. They’re already hard at work on book No. 2 (which will be style-focused), and claim they’re still learning new lessons from their dedicated fans. “Our readers have taught us many, many things over the years about how they look at celebrities, how they look at fashion, how they compare themselves to celebrities and how they feel the fashion world feels about them,” Tom explains. “We lucked into and built up a life that couldn’t be more perfect for us as individuals and as a couple.” Lorenzo echoes the sentiment: “We truly love what we do.”
Which celebs would render them speechless?
• Jessica Lange: “I know Lorenzo would probably collapse into tears if he ever got introduced to her,” says Tom. “Seventeen years ago on our very first date, he went on and on about how much he adores Jessica Lange. We’ve been out to see every movie that woman has done since our first date.”
• Ian McKellan: “If I ever met him, I would probably be a babbling idiot. He’s a nerd icon and a gay icon on top of it. That just pushes all my buttons,” Tom says.
Their wedding playlist
• “Applause” by Lady Gaga
• “Roar” by Katy Perry
• Beyoncé hits
On their nightstand
• “I have all the Hunger Games books,” Lorenzo says. “And a stack of fashion magazines that reaches to the ceiling,” Tom says.
• “I’m a big old nerd: There are comic books on my nightstand,” Tom says. He’s currently reading vintage Superman comics.