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Nike Rebuked By Kobe Bryant’s Estate After Images Of Unauthorized Shoes Surface
By Alexa Heah, 04 Jun 2021
Image via Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com
Back in April this year, Kobe Bryant’s estate announced that it would not be continuing its collaboration with Nike, despite fans wanting a return of the Nike Kobe line.
The following month, Bryant’s estate launched its own clothing line, Mambacita, spearheaded by the late basketball superstar’s widow, Vanessa Bryant.
The Mambacita range was released on May 1, in honor of Gigi Bryant’s 15th birthday, with proceeds from the collection going towards the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation – a nonprofit started in memory of Kobe and Gigi.
Now, controversy has arisen between Bryant’s estate and its old partner, Nike. As per Footwear News, Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram this week, calling out the sportswear giant after images of an unreleased design surfaced online.
Featuring a picture of the shoe in question, Vanessa Bryant said, “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.”
“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 foundation but I did not re-sign the Nike contract and decided not to sell these shoes,” she continued.
The matter gets even muddier as famed sneaker collector, Qias Omar, replied to the post, saying people had been reaching out and trying to sell him the unreleased shoe.
“Footpatrol in the UK accidentally sent these to customers who ordered another colorway of the Kobe 6. They were supposed to receive the Grinch I believe but got these instead,” he said.
“Footpatrol contacted them after asking for the pairs back but obviously no one gave them back. I got messages by a few people trying to sell me pairs. They are real. Just not supposed to be sold yet I guess,” Omar explained further.
As of now, both Nike and Footpatrol have yet to respond to requests for comments. While the matter is far from over, it’s indeed surprising to see shoes that weren’t supposed to be made out in the open market.
[via Footwear News, cover image via Tinseltown / Shutterstock.com]
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