Who What Wear Podcast: Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn

Who What Wear Podcast: Rob Zangardi and Mariel Haenn


Talk about the [Jennifer Lopez] Super Bowl. I remember watching it in real time. I obviously follow both of you on social media, so I watched all of the lead-up. There was a pole routine involved. How did you approach that performance? 

Mariel Haenn: That job, we actually did have time. It went so well and was so smooth because we were like two or three months ahead. For her, I think that was really important because there was so much preparation, so much rehearsal, [and] so many moving parts because it’s a live show. It’s a live show in the middle of a stadium, a huge event. She was sharing the stage with Shakira, which isn’t a typical thing for her, so there was just a lot of pressure, I would say. I felt very secure in that job because we were so organized. It did help that Versace did all of the costumes, so it was sort of like a one-stop shop, even for the 120 dancers or whatever the final count wound up being because they kept adding more and more and more at the end. The design process was… She was very involved. We just worked on sketches and were working through the holidays, which is always tricky as well because everybody checks out for a minute and then checks back in and then checks out again. Being organized is such a big part of making that work where she feels secure because, at the end of the day, we need to make her feel secure. If she’s not feeling sure about something, that’s when we get stressed.

Rob Zangardi: This was one job that we did have some advance on. We probably worked on it, at least the beginning of the creative, six months earlier. We knew she was doing the Super Bowl. We didn’t know exactly what it was going to look like or how many songs, and those things definitely changed. Versace also made us an extra outfit that we didn’t use, which hopefully we’ll still use. There were moments when she was opening up the show with Shakira and then they were both going to do it together and then close together. But then that kind of changed. We actually had one of her outfits in two colors. Shakira was going to be in red for her opening setup, so we made a red outfit for Jennifer to also start. Those kinds of things change, which is kind of a bummer because that outfit was amazing. And then adding the kids was something that popped up real close to the final days where they were like, “We’re adding 60 children,” and they had to dance also. We wanted fringe for the movement but also young enough for a 7-year-old to do some salsa moves. Normally when we’re doing a show, there’s a quick change area in the back, and there’s a backstage. In here, you’re in the round. You’re seeing it from all four corners.



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