Called. Vanessa bryant slammed Nike after the “Mambacita” sneaker, which was “not approved for sale”, appeared online.
The 39-year-old mother initially worked with the brand to design the shoe in honor of her late daughter, Gianna Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash alongside Kobe Bryant in January 2020.
Vanessa, who chose not to renew her late husband’s contract with Nike in April 2021, took to Instagram on Wednesday, June 3 to share her shock and concern over the shoe’s appearance.
âThis 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 chose them. colors in honor of her uniform, the number 2 she wore just like her uniform, the interior design, Kobe and Gigi on the back in gold instead of Kobe’s signature, the interior details of the shoe (butterfly, wings , halo), etc., âshe began her caption, which first appeared in her Instagram Stories and later on her Instagram grid.
She continued, âMAMBACITA shoes are NOT approved for sale. I wanted it to be sold to honor my daughter with ALL profits to benefit our @mambamambacitasports foundation but I didn’t re-sign the Nike deal and decided not to sell these shoes. (MAMBACITA shoes were not approved to be made in the first place).
Vanessa then asked how “someone else got their hands on the shoes I designed” when she and her daughters did not receive a pair. She concluded her remark: âI hope these shoes didn’t sell. @nike. “
After the information was posted on Twitter and Instagram, fans identified a few instances of shoe sales and Vanessa reposted them in her Instagram Stories. One person tweeted: ‘Do your research, a store in the UK called Foot Patrouille released a few pairs early by accident. ??stay to sleep.
An Instagram account, @kicksoncourtph, also shared a photo of Bucks player Khris Middleton wearing the âNike Kobe 6 Protro ‘Mamba Forever’â during a game against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
Vanessa asks for additional information as well. She captioned her message. In her Instagram caption, she wrote: “If anyone can share how they got these shoes in their possession, that would be greatâ¦”
In April, she also took to Instagram to announce her decision not to renew her late husband’s contract with Nike, which lasted for 18 years.
âKobe’s Nike contract expired on 04/13/21. Kobe and Nike have made some of the finest basketball shoes of all time, worn and adored by fans and athletes of all sports around the world. It seems fitting that more NBA players wear my husband’s product than any signature shoe, âshe wrote.
Vanessa added, âMy hope will always be to enable Kobe fans to get and wear his products. I will continue to fight for this. Kobe products sell out in seconds. Says it all. I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy. We will always do our utmost to honor Kobe and Gigi’s legacy. It will never change.
Us weekly contacted Nike for comment and has had no response.