Vanessa Bryant calls out Nike for ‘unauthorized’ shoes honoring her late daughter Gianna

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Vanessa Bryant, the widow of NBA legend Kobe Bryant, accuses Nike of releasing an “unauthorized” shoe that honors her late daughter Gianna Bryant. She claimed the shoes were not approved to be made or sold.

“This is a shoe I worked on in honor of my daughter, Gianna. It was going to be called the MAMBACITA shoe as the exclusive black and white colorway on her dad’s shoes,” Bryant said in an Instagram post on Thursday.

Bryant said plans to design and sell the shoes were scrapped because she didn’t re-sign her late husband’s contract with Nike, which ended in April after 18 years.

“MAMBACITA shoes are NOT approved for sale. I wanted them to be sold to honor my daughter with ALL proceeds benefiting our @mambamambacitasports foundation, but I did not re-sign the Nike contract and I decided not to sell these shoes. MAMBACITA shoes were not approved to be made in the first place),” she wrote. “I don’t know how anyone else got their hands on the shoes I designed for my daughter, Gigi and we didn’t. Hope those shoes don’t sell.”

The shoes – the popular Kobe Protro 6 model that usually sells out in minutes – are black and white to match Gigi’s basketball uniform, complete with wings, butterflies and a halo inside the shoe. shoe. Both Kobe and Gigi’s names appear on the back.

Bryant also shared photos on his Instagram Story. One showed a picture of Milwaukee Bucks star Khris Middleton appearing to be wearing the shoes in question. Another showed a Tweeter from Bleacher Report who said the shoes would “release later this year”.

Nike did not immediately respond to CBS News’ request for comment.

Shawn Grain Carter, a professor at the Fashion Institute of Technology, said the more important question is whether or not the licensing agreement between Nike and Bryant allows the company to sell the shoe.

“Although the shoe is a tribute to his late daughter, Gianna Bryant, if the legal contract to produce and distribute this shoe permits the sale of the fashion product, the leaked publicity could simply be construed as being in bad taste, but not illegal,” Carter told CBS News. “Fashion leaks on social media are quite common and unfortunately it’s ‘normal’.”

“Elevating a powerful brand that dominates the global market like Nike creates consumer demand even in the midst of untimely tragedy. Unfortunately, that could be the case,” Carter added. “Fashion leaks ‘create a buzz’ and this incentivizes the brand and entices the consumer to generate more in-demand sales. As such, trying to stop such leaks is difficult and difficult at best, especially today. today.”

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