Vanessa Bryant is upset that the shoes she intended as a homage to her late daughter have surfaced on the internet.
On Wednesday, June 2, she turned to social media to respond to a pic of a sneaker Vanessa helped create for Gianna Bryant. Vanessa’s 13-year-old daughter was killed in a catastrophic helicopter accident on January 26, 2020, along with Kobe Bryant, Vanessa’s husband and Gianna’s father, and seven other people.
Vanessa’s Instagram post read: “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. I picked the colors in honor of her uniform, the number 2 she wore just like her uniform, the inside pattern, Kobe and Gigi on the back in gold instead of Kobe’s signature, the inside shoe details (butterfly, wings, halo), etc.”
“The MAMBACITA shoes are NOT approved for sale,” she said. “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 to sell these shoes. (The MAMBACITA shoes were not approved to be made in the first place.) Nike has NOT sent any of these pairs to me and my girls,” continued Vanessa.
Vanessa went on to say that she was perplexed as to how this person came to get a pair of those shoes, which she said shouldn’t be available in shops.
She wrote that “I do not know how someone else has their hands on shoes I designed in honor of my daughter, Gigi and we don’t. I hope these shoes did not get sold. @nike.”
She also included a picture of the shoes to her Story that someone had uploaded, captioning it “How/Why is someone wearing my daughter’s shoe? This isn’t right.”
Vanessa revealed on her Instagram Story on April 19 that Nike and the deceased NBA player had split up earlier that month when she and the player’s estate decided not to extend the contract. At the time, Nike also confirmed that the contract had ended.
Vanessa wrote in her story back then that “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.”