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Jeff Pangman on Manifesting Walmart’s Unexpected Fashion Event

There’s nothing quite so enjoyable as destroying the preconceptions of others. There’s also nothing quite so difficult or demanding. Producer Jeff Pangman is highly familiar with both of these situations from his role on the “I’m Wearing Walmart” campaign. Teaming with Asymetric (production company) in conjunction with Caviar, Pangman and team created this commercial which obliterated notions about the appeal of Walmart’s apparel lines and featured them on everyday people in a high fashion event. While so many fashion advocates declare that it is a vehicle for expression and self-identification, “I’m Wearing Walmart” solidified the concept that even more than this, affordable fashion is for everyone.

The status quo is not necessarily the best option. It’s likely that a specific mental image comes to mind when you think of a runway model. The greatest challenge for the production team of the “I’m Wearing Walmart” commercial was finding models for their fashion show that would embody the true modeling spirit without some stylized idea of perfection. As producer Jeff Pangman states, “We weren’t necessarily looking for model-like technique, not in the traditional sense anyway. We wanted conventional AND unconventional beauty but most importantly, we were looking for people with confidence and swagger.” Pangman and director Toby Dye spent nearly a week in Paris (Ontario) filming on their own; conducting interviews and exploring for B-roll possibilities prior to the shooting of the actual runway event. When the day of the Fashion Show finally arrived, a massive team with cranes, drones, and a total of thirteen cameras filmed this “pop up” media happening. Diversity in filming and presentation was achieved through a range of options that included 8mm film,16mm film, Go Pro’s, drones and Arri Alexa’s.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of this production is keeping the secret that the fashion line is from Walmart kept under wraps until the big reveal at the Fashion show. Pangman concedes, “It was a very difficult job to execute with the layered casting, location logistics, and crew coordination all while keeping the Walmart reveal a secret. As with the majority of my work, it’s about planning and perfect execution. Having a great crew goes a long way on that front. It was essential to our goal that the people of Paris had no idea who created the designs being presented at the show. Walmart wanted to challenge the idea that fun and affordable clothing only comes with an expensive price tag. The genuine surprise and reaction of the crowd when they found out the truth was incredibly satisfying, even more so because we had held our cards so close to our chest. This project was very different from most that I’ve worked on and a real pleasure to spend time getting to know the people of Paris Ontario.” With nearly one million views on Youtube, it’s apparent that a lot of people are intrigued by the “everyday person fashionista” appeal of the “I’m Wearing Walmart” spot. Ironically, Pangman and his team may have proven that there is a benevolent and well-intentioned way of using deception to enable people to see that their own taste in clothes is worth trusting.

Author: Patrick Wilson
Jeff Pangman on Manifesting Walmart’s Unexpected Fashion Event Reviewed by JaamZIN on 6:01:00 PM Rating: 5
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