Vanessa Bryant is not happy after discovering a pair of sneakers that she designed in the hands of a consumer following the end of her family’s contract with Nike.
She took to Instagram on Wednesday, June 2 to draw attention to the matter, posting photos of the black and white sneakers she designed as a tribute to her late daughter, Gianna Bryant. The mother of four ended up terminating her late husband’s contract with Nike back in April, before these shoes were ever released, which has Vanessa confused on how certain people got their hands on them--especially since her and her daughters don’t even have any pairs.
“This is a shoe I worked on in honor of my daughter, Gianna,” Bryant wrote on Instagram. “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.”
She continued, “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 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.”
Vanessa went on to say that she was confused as to how this individual in the leaked photo happened to end up with a pair of the shoes, as they shouldn’t be available in stores. She went on to tag Nike in her post, saying, “I hope these shoes did not get sold.”
This comes after the termination of Nike’s longtime relationship with Vanessa’s late husband, Lakers legend Kobe Bryant.
On April 19, Vanessa took to her Instagram Story to share that Nike and the late NBA star had parted ways earlier that month after the athlete’s estate did not renew the contract.
“I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband‘s legacy,” Vanessa wrote at the time. “We will always do everything we can to honor Kobe and Gigi’s legacies.”
It seems like these shoes were already in production prior to their deal ending, which is how pairs made it into some hands without her knowledge. Hopefully, Vanessa can get a few pairs for her and her family, since they already made their way into the marketplace without her permission.