Gavin Francis and his pals started something completely organically last year called "Thuggie Thursdays". It's a movement and it's sweeping many nations, many hallways and many confused teachers by storm. I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Gavin and learning a bit more about how it all started.
Kim: What was the reaction of your teachers and classmates to Thuggie Thursdays?
Gavin: One thing I noticed right away while wearing my Thuggie to school was that lots of people will try to subtly say to their friends "Hey, look at that HUGE freaking sweater". Usually this results in the person staring intently at me and my friends while nudging others to get them to look. It gets funnier as you see more and more people do it throughout the day. Something I like to do is walk into the classroom with pants on, and then once the awe of the initial entrance has subsided, I take my pants off and put them on the desk, and simply wait for others to see. Some teachers thought it was funny, and others would just give me dirty looks, so it would be hit and miss. (Editor's note: bolded because these necessitated emphasis)
Kim: Did you always wear pants with them?
Gavin: At first pants would always be worn while at school, but as we started wearing them more often, pants were dropped many a time.
Kim: There are now other schools doing this. How does it feel to be such a trend setter and pivotal part of Thuggies history?
Gavin: It's awesome! I'm glad I could be so influential in spreading the Thuggie lovin.
Kim: Do you have any words of wisdom for other brave souls who want to take their comfort to new levels, like you did?
Gavin: Just give 'er. Funny looks/comments < Ultimate comfort.
Kim: Would you say that your year was both more comfortable and entertaining due to Thuggies Thursday?
Gavin: For sure. When we plan Thuggie Thursdays ahead of time, so that everyone who has one, wears it, its awesome. You'll see each other in the halls, or at lunch, and it just makes the day more comfortable and fun.
Kim: How did you find Thuggies?
Gavin: I have an awful memory, so I might just be making this up, but I'm pretty sure one of my friends showed me, and he actually got his first, but I soon followed in getting my own, and after that, I was hooked. I ended up getting another one this past winter, and I'm doing my best to line up another one as part of my school's ski team.
Kim: Do you actually ski/snowboard in them and what is the reaction (if any) of people on the hill?
Gavin: You betcha! I snowboard in mine, and the only downside is getting snow in the pocket if you're going in the deep stuff. Most people smile or laugh, some fall in love at first sight, and I've even encountered a few who knew of Thuggies who gave me a shout out! (Editor's note: life affirming.)
Kim: If there is one thing you would change about the Thuggie, what is it and why?
Gavin: I'm still pulling for the summer Thuggie (Lightweight, sleeveless, amazing, etc) It's hard to think of anything to change, because I love it quite a lot as is, but if I was going to change something, I'd add a 1/4(ish) zipper, so it's a little cooler on the sunny bluebird days. (Editor's note: well, noted. Look forward to a newer, springier line come Spring 2013)
Kim: Do you think that other students should start their own Thuggie Thursdays?
Gavin: Totally! I'd love to see other groups lounging around at their schools! Why keep the fun to ourselves?
And scene. There you have it. The origins of Thuggie Thursdays, from the words of the originator. Take an extra close look at this picture, which happens to be from Gavin's yearbook. While posing without pants wasn't a go, 100%, if you look beyond the text, you'll notice a pants-free version of the picture. Well done sir, well done, sirs.
We will be launching a new campaign that is an ode and an invitation to Thuggie Thursdays, all across the world. Start forming your own Thuggies Thursdays groups. Get creative, snap some pictures. Beyond the unfettered joy it will bring you, there will be other possible rewards.
Huge thanks to Gavin and his fellow Thuggie Thursday-ers and we look forward to following you (not in a weird sense) on your journey of leisure.
PS bonus amazing quote when I asked if he'd ever swing by Vancouver:
"I'm not sure if I'll be near Vancouver, or if I'll fly into Calgary and find my way to Fernie or something, but 100% if I'm even passing through I'll give you a call! But my pants won't be checked at the door, they'll still be in Ontario."