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Vanessa Bryant Speaks Out Against Nike for Alleged Release of Unauthorized ‘Mambacita’ Shoes

“The MAMBACITA shoes are NOT approved for sale”

Vanessa Bryant/Instagram

Earlier last week, Vanessa Bryant took to Instagram to reveal how she was surprised to see a leaked image of a Kobe and Gianna Bryant memorial shoe made by Nike without her or the estate’s permission.

The Nike shoes were designed by Vanessa Bryant as a tribute to her late husband and daughter, Kobe and Gianna Bryant, who tragically passed away along 7 other victims in a helicopter accident on 26 January 2020.

In the Instagram post, she criticized Nike for allegedly releasing the shoe without her permission. Although she helped with the design of the shoe, she did not renew her contract with Nike in the April of this year and split from the brand.  

This came after Vanessa and Kobe’s estate were reportedly “frustrated” with Nike limiting the availability of Kobe’s products during his retirement and after his death, and hence cut ties with the brand.

The Instagram post reads:

“The MAMBACITA shoes are NOT approved for sale. I wanted it to be sold to honor my daughter with ALL of the proceeds benefiting our @mambamambacitasports foundation but I did not re-sign the Nike contract and decided not 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”

In the caption of the post, she questioned how someone was able to purchase them before she and her daughters received a pair.

After this revelation, eBaySneakers removed the listing someone put up for the sale of the ‘Mambacita’ Kobe 6 Protro sneakers for almost $7,000.

The official Twitter account for eBay Sneakers tweeted, “Thanks for the concern everyone. The listing has been removed. 

Nike representatives have not yet responded to this revelation, but it is apparent that Nike can not release more of the model without renewing the contract with Vanessa and the Bryant Estate.

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