If the Bryant estate’s relationship with Nike wasn’t over before, it almost certainly is now.
Vanessa Bryant took the swoosh to task on Thursday morning in an Instagram post detailing how she’d seen pictures of a shoe – that she designed herself – leaking on the internet.
The shoe in question was the “Mambacita” Kobe 6. It was apparently designed by Vanessa Bryant, herself, and made to honor Gigi Bryant after her passing. She’d hoped that the proceeds would go to the Mamba and Mambacita foundation, but the Bryant estate didn’t renew Kobe Bryant’s contract with Nike so the shoes were never approved for sale, she said in the post.
Yet, here someone was with them in hand. Before anyone in her family even got a pair.
Needless to say, Vanessa Bryant was heated.
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A post shared by Vanessa Bryant 🦋 (@vanessabryant)
Not only is she saying the shoes leaked despite not being approved for sale, but she’s also saying they weren’t approved to be made in the first place.
It’s impossible to know what’s actually going on here without a look behind the scenes to see what part of the process was approved when.
Generally speaking, designing, releasing and approving a distribution plan for a sneaker takes place months ahead of time at the bare minimum. Clearly, this process started at some point a while ago.
Vanessa Bryant speaks at the Hall of Fame ceremony in May. (Photo: David Butler II, USA TODAY Sports)
Obviously, things also fell through with the Bryant estate and Nike and the two sides decided to part ways. They were supposed to be releasing two more shoes together. This particular shoe in question was not approved and seemed to fall through the cracks.
Regardless, though, this isn’t a good look. It adds another layer to what has been an otherwise messy breakup between the two sides. And it also puts a damper on the possibility of the two sides coming back together down the line.
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