On Wednesday, Vanessa reposted the Twitter user’s photo with the shoe she designed in tribute of Gianna, along with a note explaining that the sneaker hadn’t been approved to be made and — since she decided not to renew her late husband Kobe Bryant’s five-year post-retirement endorsement extension with Nike after it expired on April 13 — should not have been sold.
“This is a shoe I worked on in honor of my daughter, Gianna,” Vanessa’s note reads. “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.”
Vanessa also shared several screenshots and posts seemingly confirming the sneakers’ sale to her Instagram Story, including a photo of Milwaukee Bucks player Khris Middleton wearing the sneakers during Game Four of the Eastern Conference first-round playoff series on May 29.
In April, Vanessa said that although she and Kobe’s estate was ending her late husband’s partnership with Nike, she would “continue to fight” to allow fans to wear her late husband’s products.
“My hope will always be to allow Kobe’s fans to get and wear his products. I will continue to fight for that. Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything,” she said. “I was hoping to forge a lifelong partnership with Nike that reflects my husband’s legacy. We will always do everything we can to honor Kobe and Gigi’s legacies. That will never change.”