Thom Filicia, CEO of New York City -based interior design firm Thom Filicia Inc. is, perhaps, best known for his starring role in Bravo’s successful series Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, where he was assigned the difficult task of transforming the homes of design challenged men, a role he developed with a great deal of wit and humor. Queer Eye was a revolutionary TV series. “The show was about bringing people together through a fun, approachable platform. Something like guys helping guys, where the cast never made fun of the guests, but did so with themselves”, says Filicia during his recent visit to Miami to promote his latest project: Biscayne Beach condominium, scheduled for completion in early 2015.
His camera friendly personality and accessible approach to interior design led to numerous TV appearances in America’s most popular TV shows like The Oprah Winfrey Show, Good Morning America, The Tonight Show, The Today Show and many others. His design acumen garnered him a huge following, evident in his collaborations with the Style Network and Home & Garden Television (HGTV).
Throughout his short, but successful, career, he has garnered the attention of relevant private clients from the worlds of art, finance, sport, media, fashion and hospitality such as Tina Fey, Jennifer Lopez, Peter Jennings and Delta Airlines, among others. His diverse design portfolio includes first-class hotels and unique projects, including the USA Pavilion at the World’s Fair in Aichi, Japan, lounges for Delta Airlines in Atlanta and New York, a private apartment in New York’s first LEED certified “green” luxury condo tower, and the holiday decorations for the emblematic Radio City Music Hall.
Filicia was born in upstate New York, and from an early age, he heard the call of art and design. “I almost felt like I had no other choice. I began drawing houses, floor plans and furniture layouts when I was in sixth grade. The school principal would take my creations and post them outside his office, which made me really proud. My mother was a realtor, and my father, who was an engineer, taught me how to draw. They were both very supportive of my career, even before I had made the decision to go into interior design. I really had no plan B other than design”, says Filicia with confidence.
Thom is also the author of Thom Filicia Style (2008 Atria/Simon & Schuster), the best seller Queer Eye for the Straight Guy: The Fab 5 Guide to Living Better, and has recently delivered his third book titled American Beauty: Renovating and Decorating a Beloved Retreat, for Clarkson Potter Publishers. His work as an author complements his design projects and keeps him busy throughout the year.
Filicia earned a Bachelor of Fine Art in Interior Design from Syracuse University and currently works as a visiting professor at the School of Art & Design. He began his career with the renowned firm Parish-Hadley Inc. before opening his own successful business. He describes his style as New American, “it is very fresh and clean, draws inspiration from a variety of cultures and expresses itself as easy, relaxed and sophisticated, very much like our own democracy. It is elegant without being self conscious: timeless, refined and very modern.”
That is what he will bring to the luxury condo project, Biscayne Beach, a holistic plan that feels contextually integrated to the culture, lifestyle and attitude of the beautiful city of Miami. “We want to communicate to the world where Miami is today, a mature city that is not only one of America’s greatest, but also a world class destination, with high respect for what has happened here over the last three decades, but bringing it to another level”, said the designer about his contribution to the project.
His design label also keeps busy with a new Home Collection that includes textiles, furniture, rugs, curtains, bedding and bath products, as well as the preparation of a TV show and critical partnerships to grow the company’s reach. The author and designer credits his staff for the resounding success of his various enterprises. “The key to handling so many projects at the same time is to have a great team around you”.
Thom Filicia works and lives in Manhattan. He shares his life with his partner of 11 years, Craig Callejo and their two dogs. The couple also has a home in Central New York in the area of Finger Lakes, where they enjoy skiing and other outdoor sports. ■