Vanessa Bryant Alleges Nike Leaked Unauthorized Mambacita Shoes
Vanessa Bryant launches the Mambacita clothing line.
Vanessa Bryant, widow of late NBA star Kobe Bryant, wants Nike to explain why the Mambacita sneakers she worked on to honor her daughter were released without her permission.
In an Instagram post Thursday morning, Vanessa Bryant said she was upset that the black and white shoes, with the names “Kobe” and “Gigi” engraved on them, were released after neither she nor her other daughters had received in pairs.
Gianna Bryant, who bears the nicknames “Mambacita” and “Gigi”, has died in the helicopter crash who killed his father, Kobe Bryant, in January 2020.
Vanessa Bryant had worked with Nike on a deal to sell the shoes, she explained, but when she did not resign from her husband’s contract with the sneaker giant, the partnership has been canceled.
The Mambacita shoes weren’t approved to be made in the first place, Vanessa Bryant said on her Instagram account. “I don’t know how someone else got their hands on shoes that I designed in honor of my daughter,” she said.
A representative for Nike did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.
Vanessa Bryant shared a photo of someone holding one of the shoes, which features the number 2 in gold. It was the number Gianna wore on her basketball uniform.
Some people said in comments to Vanessa Bryant’s post that a sneaker store called Footpatrol in the UK had released a few pairs of shoes earlier.
May 1, Vanessa Bryant launched its own Mambacita clothing line, with the profits going to his non-profit foundation. May 1 would have been Gigi’s 15th birthday.