Vanessa Bryant, the wife to late NBA star Kobe Bryant has new trouble brewing with Nike. The former model has come forward to blast the sportswear giant for selling a shoe she specifically designed to honor her late daughter Gianna.
Mama Bryant Isn’t Happy With Nike
Vanessa posted an Instagram message directed at the multinational footwear brand. In the posts, she criticizes the company for selling “Mambacita” shoes she had not approved following them recently contractually parting ways.
“This is a shoe I worked on in honor of my daughter, Gianna. It was going to be called the Mambacita shoe as an exclusive black and white colorway on her daddy’s shoes. The Mambacita shoes are not approved for sale. I wanted it to be sold to honor my daughter with ALL of the proceeds benefitting our @mambamambacitasports foundation but I did not re-sign the Nike contract and decided not to sell these shoes.”
Vanessa Bryant Launches Clothing Line To Honor Kobe
In May 2021, Vanessa revealed all proceeds from her “Mambacita” apparel line would go towards benefiting the Mamba and Mambacita Sports foundation, a charity founded by the Bryant family for the purpose of supporting underserved communities. After products from the apparel line went live on what would have been Gianna’s 15th birthday, they sold out within a day.
While details are still unconfirmed about the future of Kobe Bryant’s brand post-Nike partnership, Vanessa Bryant has taken to social media to announce the launch of a new apparel line, Mambacita, in honor of her daughter, Gianna (Gigi) Bryant. (HYPEBEAST)
Vanessa Bryant Confirms Kobe/Nike Deal Over
In April 2021, Bryant reassured fans through a social media post she and Kobe’s team would always do all they could to honor his legacy. Vanessa stressed she knew how meaningful the Nike-Kobe partnership was by acknowledging, “Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time.” Vanessa also hinted she had hoped for a lifelong partnership with Nike which truly reflected her husband’s legacy.
“Kobe’s Nike contract expired on 4/13/21. Kobe and Nike have made some of the most beautiful basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes in all sports across the globe. It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any other signature shoe. My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products. I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything. I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy. We will always do everything we can to honor Kobe and Gigi’s legacies. That will never change.”
Kobe Bryant’s Widow Names Officers In Lawsuit
In mid-March 2021, VB went to Instagram to share the details of a lawsuit she filed against Los Angeles County, the sheriff’s department, and L.A. County Sheriff Alex Villanueva. The posts included the names of the officers — Joey Cruz, Rafael Mejia, Michael Russell, and Raul Versales — who allegedly took or shared photos from the crash which claimed the lives of Kobe, their 13-year-old daughter and 7 other victims.
“At the moment the deputies snapped photos of Kobe and Gianna’s remains, they created a harm that cannot be undone, and the Department’s response has only exacerbated that harm.”