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Thom Filicia Biography

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Birth Name: Thom Filicia
Born: 1969

From the time he was in fourth or fifth grade, Filicia knew that he wanted to design interiors for a living. Even his parents were aware of his single-minded goal: his father, Tom, an engineer, would come home from work to find the living room furniture rearranged. Filicia also spent a lot of time with his mom, Janet, a real estate agent, who took him around to see the houses she was showing. After studying architecture in an advanced art class in high school, Filicia earned a B.A. in Interior Design from Syracuse University's school of Art and Design in the college of Visual and Performing Arts. Upon graduation, Filicia worked for several high-end design firms, including Parish Hadley Associates, Robert Metzger Interiors and Bilhuber Inc.

Filicia broke away and formed his own interior design company, Thom Filicia, Inc. In a short time, Filicia built a solid reputation and was eventually named one of House Beautiful's Top 100 American Designers. Filicia's work was features in numerous publications, including House & Garden, City, Details and The New York Times. It was a chance encounter, however, that turned Filicia's career around. He was stuck in an elevator in his New York apartment building with a talent manager from Bravo who happened to be casting for their upcoming reality show. After being struck by his enthusiasm and design knowledge, the talent manager asked Filicia to be on the show. The only problem for Filicia was acknowledging to the world that he was gay. After being reassured by his parents and two brothers Filicia agreed to do the show. The result was a hit series, complete with a spin-off called "Straight Eye for the Queer Guy", where five straight guys tutor a gay guy in the straight male lifestyle of cars, sports and power tools. Filicia's celebrity became more apparent when he was chosen to be Pier 1's new spokesperson.