Vanessa Bryant is seeking information about the unauthorized release of Mambacita shoes made in honor of her late daughter Gianna Bryant.
In a statement posted to her Instagram account on Thursday, Vanessa, 39, revealed that she originally created the shoes to support the benefit. However, Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation has decided not to proceed with the sale of the trainers.
Despite her lack of approval, the shiny black and white shoes bearing the names of Gigi and her late father Kobe Bryant were still somehow released, but never sent to Vanessa and her family.
‘The MAMBACITA shoes are NOT approved for sale’: Vanessa Bryant seeks information about the unauthorized release of Mambacita shoes made in honor of her late daughter Gianna Bryant
A photo posted to her account showed the unauthorized shoe being held by a person.
“This is a shoe I’ve been working on in honor of my daughter Gianna. It would be called the Mambacita shoe as an exclusive black and white colorway on her father’s shoes,” Vanessa wrote in the statement.
“I chose the colors in honor of her uniform, the number 2 she wore like her uniform, the pattern on the inside, Kobe and Gigi on the back in gold instead of Kobe’s signature, the details of the shoe on the inside (butterfly, wings, halo), etc.
‘The MAMBACITA shoes are NOT approved for sale. I wanted it to be sold in honor of my daughter, with ALL proceeds benefiting our @mambamambacitasports foundation, but I didn’t 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).
The Exclamation: Bryant revealed that the shoes had somehow ended up in the hands of others, despite her withdrawal of approval for their production
“Nike sent NONE of these pairs to me and my girls. I don’t know how anyone else got their hands on the shoes I designed in honor of my daughter, Gigi, and we didn’t. I hope these shoes are not sold. @nike.’
In the caption, Bryant asked those with the shoes to provide information on how they obtained them.
‘The second photo shows that someone already owns Gigi’s MAMBACITA shoe. If anyone can tell me how they got these shoes, that would be great, because my daughters and I don’t own any MAMBACITA shoes from Gigi.’
Tragedy: Bryant lost her daughter Gianna and husband Kobe Bryant in a helicopter crash last year
How? People shared information about how to get the shoes online
Bryant also shared tweets detailing how people could get a pair for themselves.
‘Do your research at a shop in the UK called foot patrol, who accidentally released a few pairs too early (nail polish emoji). stay asleep,” the tweet read. Vanessa circled the message and placed a question mark.
She also expressed her confusion over a photo showing an “on-feet look” of the shoes being worn by a model.
How did this happen? She also expressed her confusion over a photo that showed an “on-feet look” of the shoes being worn by a model.
‘I don’t have a pair’: An Instagram user who posted photos of the shoes in mid-May spoke out about the controversy in his Stories on Thursday
The controversy was also addressed by an Instagram user who posted photos of the shoe last month.
“Guys, I just want to make it clear that I don’t own any of those Mambacita Kobes,” Brandon1an wrote on his Instagram Stories on Thursday.
“The photos I’ve posted are official product photos from an authorized Nike dealer.”
It’s been a year since Gianna and her father Kobe Bryant were tragically killed in a helicopter crash. Gianna was only 13 years old and her father 41.
‘You just have to get up and push forward’: In a recent People interview, Bryant shared how she’s moved on after the heartbreaking loss
Vanessa spoke to People last March on progress, less than two years after the crash in Calabasas, California, which also killed pilot Ara Zobayan, 50, Alyssa Altobelli, 14, Keri Altobelli, 46, John Altobelli, 56, Payton Chester, 13, Sarah Chester, 46, and Christina Mauser, 38.
‘This pain is unimaginable’ [but] you just have to get up and push forward,” she told the outlet. “Crying in bed doesn’t change the fact that my family will never be the same.
“But getting out of bed and pushing forward will make the day better for my girls and for me. So that’s what I do.’
Family Ties: In addition to Gianna, Vanessa shares daughters Natalia, 18, Bianka, four, and one-year-old Capri with her late husband