Vanessa Bryant Blasts Nike’s ‘Mambacita’ Sneaker Leaks

    • Pictures have gone viral of a Nike shoe that Vanessa Bryant designed in honor of her late daughter Gigi.
    • According to Vanessa’s Instagram, the shoes were never supposed to be released.

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Before Kobe Bryant’s estate parted ways with Nike in April, Vanessa Bryant designed a Kobe sneaker honoring her late daughter Gianna. The contract ended, and the shoes were never released.

Late Wednesday night, Vanessa took to Instagram after seeing a stranger’s photo of the shoes, saying they were not even supposed to be made in the first place.

“The MAMBACITA shoes are NOT approved for sale,” she wrote. “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.”

Bryant’s estate has filed 13 trademarks since May 2020 for shoe and clothing brands. Nike and Kobe’s contract began in 2003 and officially ended on April 13, 2021.

Roughly two weeks later, Vanessa Bryant announced Mambacita, a clothing line set for release on Gianna’s birthday. She had also said that there were still two Nike releases coming — but never mentioned the Mambacita sneakers. That hasn’t stopped them from showing up online and on-court.

  • A post from @kicksoncourtph showed Nike-sponsored Bucks player Khris Middleton wearing the shoes earlier this week.
  • @brandon1an shared “official pictures” on Instagram, though initial leaks were in May.
  • B/R Kicks tweeted an “on-feet” look of the shoe Wednesday afternoon.

The price of the shoes, should they be released, is undisclosed. A pair of Nike Kobe VI Black Mambas retails for $200, and the sold-out Mambacita sweatsuit cost $332.

Multiple messages left with Nike by Front Office Sports were not returned on Thursday.