Vanessa Bryant calls Nike over Kobe 6 "Mambacita" sneakers


Kobe Bryant and Vanessa

Kobe Bryant and Gigi
Kobe Bryant and Gigi

By Taiwo Okanlawon

Vanessa Bryant, the widow of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, has called out Nike for releasing sneakers in honour of her late daughter, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, without her permission.

Kobe Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianni and seven others died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.

Vanessa then took to social media earlier this year to promote the Gigi sneakers, saying the shoe was set for release later this year.

However, she took to social media today, June 3, to call Nike out, explaining to her followers that she didn’t authorise the Kobe 6 “Mambacita” sneakers for sale to the public.

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Vanessa wrote: “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.”

After photos of the prototype Gigi sneakers leaked online, Vanessa wrote: “In the 2nd photo, it appears someone already has Gigi’s MAMBACITA shoe in their possession. If someone can share how they have these shoes in their possession, that would be great because my daughters and I don’t have any of Gigi’s MAMBACITA shoes.”

She added: “Nike has not sent any of these pairs to me and my girls. I do not know how someone else has their hands on these shoes I designed in honor of my daughter, Gigi, and we don’t. I hope these shoes do not get sold.”

Only last month, Nike declined to re-sign a sneaker deal with the Kobe Bryant estate.