Vanessa Bryant Slams Nike Over Leaked Photo of Mambacita Shoe: 'Reckless!'
Vanessa Bryant slammed Nike after it allegedly leaked the design she worked on for her family. The widow of Kobe Bryant now demands the shoe company to explain how and why the Mambacita sneakers have been leaked.
On Thursday, Vanessa took her rage on her Instagram account. She shared a lengthy statement, questioning Nike as she asked about the leaked design.
The black-and-white sneakers don "Kobe" and "Gigi" names on them. Despite the exclusivity of the design, the company reportedly made the pair when neither of Vanessa's daughters received pairs.
"This is a shoe I worked on in honor of my daughther, Gianna. It was going to be called the MAMBACITA shoe as an exclusive black and white colorway on her daddy's shoes," she started the statement.
The matriarch added that the colors aim to honor her daughter and her uniform. The number 2 is the same number Gigi used for her jerseys. Meanwhile, instead of using Kobe's signature, she chose to have the father and daughter's names on the back.
Vanessa then revealed that she never approved its sale. Initially, the potential sales would exclusively be given to the Mambacita Sports foundation. However, she did not re-sign the Nike contract and refuse to sell the shoes in the end.
"I do not know how someone else has their hands on the shoes I designed in honor of my daughter, Gigi and we don't. I hope these shoes did not get sold," she went on.
The second photo features someone holding one of the shoes with the same design.
Where Did Nike Sell It?
It remains unknown when and how the design leaked. However, some internet users on the comments section alleged that a sneaker shop "Footpatrol" in the U.K. released the shows recently.
The shoes are also being sold on Goat and Flight Club's websites. The companies refused to comment on the issue.
The newest dispute over the Mambacita shoes came after Bryant's family chose not to renew their partnership with Nike. According to Nick DePaula of ESPN, Kobe's survivors felt that the proposed contract did not reach the former standard of deals they offered before.
Their contract officially expired on April 13, 2021.
Currently, Nike has not released an official statement yet to explain what happened to the design.