'Queer Eye' designer new Pier 1 celeb face

— Kirstie Alley is out as spokeswoman for Pier 1 Imports. A queer eye is in.

The home furnishing chain has launched a new marketing campaign featuring Thom Filicia, the design guru of the hit makeover show "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy."

With the success of shows like "Trading Spaces" and "Queer Eye," it was time for Pier 1 to capitalize on the rising home decorating trend, said Phil Schneider, executive vice president for Pier 1 marketing.

National television ads featuring Filicia began airing Thursday.

"We wanted somebody that was renowned as a decorator-expert and Thom certainly has been well-connected in his career," said Marvin J. Girouard, chairman and CEO of the Fort Worth-based chain. "He's done some things that we think will really play well into the type of merchandising and advertising that we're going to."

The Bravo channel's "Queer Eye" features five gay men helping straight men transform their style from slovenly to chic in categories including fashion, grooming, interior design, food and wine and culture. Filicia is the "design doctor."

The Pier 1 Imports ads will show Filicia helping customers find decorative furnishings that reflect their personal style. He replaces actress Alley, who for three years was the company's celebrity spokeswoman.

Filicia was named one of America's top designers by House Beautiful and owns the New York design company Thom Filicia Inc. He said he used Pier 1 items in his designs, so he had no problem signing up as a pitchman for a year.

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