Vanessa Bryant slams Nike after photos of Gianna tribute shoe surface online

Bryant took to Instagram to call out Nike directly, writing that the company had not sent any pairs to her or her daughters, yet these pictures have surfaced

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In a recent post on Instagram, Vanessa Bryant slammed Nike after photos of a tribute shoe for her late daughter Gianna surfaced online.

On Wednesday, June 2, Vanessa Bryant used her Instagram account to publicly call out Nike. Over a year after Kobe Bryant and Gianna Bryant‘s tragic passing, photos have surfaced of unauthorized Nike tribute sneakers. As theGrio previously reported in April, Bryant and Kobe Bryant’s estate decided not to renew their contract with Nike when it was up.

Now, Bryant shared a post on her Instagram calling out Nike after pictures of shoes she helped design have surfaced on the internet, even though they were not available for sale.

Vanessa Bryant
Vanessa Bryant speaks on behalf of Class of 2020 inductee, Kobe Bryant during the 2021 Basketball Hall of Fame Enshrinement Ceremony at Mohegan Sun Arena on May 15, 2021 in Uncasville, Connecticut. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

In the Instagram post, Bryant detailed her experience in helping design the MAMBACITA shoe and why it is not available for sale. She 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. 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 in the post, writing, “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.”

She concluded in the post, “I do not know how someone else has their hands on shoes I designed in honor of my daughter, Gigi and we don’t. I hope these shoes don’t get sold,” before tagging Nike directly. In the second photo of the post, she reveals the picture of someone holding the MAMBACITA sneakers.

The decision for the Bryant estate to part ways with Nike reportedly was “not made lightly” and came from Vanessa’s “frustration with Nike”. ESPN reported at the time, “Bryant and the estate had grown frustrated with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe products during his retirement and after his January 2020 death in a helicopter crash. There was also frustration with the lack of availability of Kobe footwear in kids’ sizes, according to sources.”

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