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Vanessa Bryant SLAMS Nike After Unauthorized 'Mambacita' Tribute Shoe Mysteriously Appears Online

Vanessa Bryant calls out Nike over reportedly selling or sharing her unreleased Mambacita shoe to honor Gigi Bryant!

Vanessa Bryant is not happy with Nike right now — and she’s got a good argument backing her side!

Kobe Bryant‘s mourning widow took to Instagram late Wednesday night to reveal to the world her utter disappointment with the powerful brand. It all stemmed from a special pair of shoes she designed for her late daughter Gianna that were never supposed to see the light of day.

Related: Vanessa Outs The LA County Deputies Who Shared Kobe Helicopter Crash Photos

The sneakers, which Vanessa called the “MAMBACITA,” had been designed months ago and prepared for the public. But they never hit the sales floor after the 39-year-old mom was unable to strike a long-term deal with Nike earlier this year. Something clearly got f**ked up along the way, though, because pictures of a pair of the shoes in what appeared to be a private home have started to surface online.

Frustrated (to say the least), Vanessa took to IG in an attempt to clear things up. In a late-night message, she first explained to her followers how the sneaks were designed and created (below):

“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 color way 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.”


That wasn’t mean to be, though. Deals were scrapped, shoes were shelved, and Vanessa ultimately walked away from Nike without ever giving them approval to sell the special MAMBACITA design.

So that’s what makes the grieving widow so confused to see pictures of them on social media! She continued in her IG post, adding (below):

“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. 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 did not get sold. @nike.”


Here is the full post, with a carousel that includes the aforementioned controversial pic of the shoe, as well:

And that’s not all!

Vanessa took to her IG Stories to investigate claims the footwear was being sold in U.K. stores, too:

Vanessa Bryant calls out Nike over reportedly selling or sharing her unreleased Mambacita shoe to honor Gigi Bryant!
Vanessa sleuthed around on her IG Stories looking for more info about the unreleased shoes. / (c) Vanessa Bryant/Instagram


Honestly, it’s the disrespect that sticks with us. If Nike is putting out these shoes behind Vanessa’s back, it’s a BAD look.

And even if the new owner of these special shoes is some rich kid of a well-positioned Nike exec who has access to the back warehouse and can do whatever they want, like, did they have to post about it online?! The shoes honor a girl who died at 13 in a horrific helicopter crash along with her father. Obviously, it’s an incredibly painful topic for the girl’s grieving mom. So show some respect! Read the room!

What do U think, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF down (below) with your thoughts about what’s going on with these MAMBACITA shoes…

[Image via Vanessa Bryant/Instagram]

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Jun 03, 2021 10:27am PDT