Before being catapulted into the national spotlight, Thom established himself as a major player in the design industry through his day-to-day work. After earning his B.A. in design from the prestigious School of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University, he joined Parish-Hadley, one of the country's most distinguished interior design firms. He then worked for renowned designer Jeffrey Bilhuber before founding Thom Filicia, Inc., in 1998. He was named one of House & Garden's Top 50 Tastemakers, one of House Beautiful's Top 100 American Designers, and was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Art Direction for his work on Queer Eye. Thom's far-ranging commissions have included everything from designing the tents for the Olympus Fashion Week, to the W Hotels in Los Angeles, San Diego, and Atlanta, and to the United States VIP Suite at the World's Fair in Aichi, Japan.