There continues to be change within the Bryant family household after the late, great NBA superstar’s estate parted ways with Nike. Vanessa Bryant, 38, followed that announcement with the introduction of her Mambacita clothing line. (Mambacita is the nickname of Kobe’s daughter, Gianna.) The Mambacita x Dannijo line is a limited edition capsule collection of laid-back tie-dye sweats with a cool, Cali-girl edge.
The athleisure wear, which is available for purchase starting today, features “Mambacita” across the chest, and has the number 2 inside a heart on the top of the left leg. One version displayed is offered in a black-and-white tie-dye print with the text and logo in red. The other has a white and periwinkle tie-dye pattern. The collection celebrates Gigi’s spirit in every detail, she explained in an Insta post, right down to the placement of the #PlayGigisWay tag on the right arm of each hoodie, her shooting arm. Bryant said that 100% of the proceeds will go to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, the nonprofit started shortly after Kobe and Gianna lost their lives in a Jan. 26, 2020, helicopter crash. Meant to benefit underserved youth in sports, the athletic drip is unisex and available in children’s sizes.
Since last May, the Kobe Bryant estate has filed more than a dozen trademark applications, according to Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney and founder of Gerben Intellectual Property. “Over the past year, Vanessa Bryant, via a corporate entity in Kobe’s name, has been making trademark filings which indicate a desire to build a brand around Kobe and Gianna’s legacy,” he said. “Based on trademark filing activity … I would also expect to see more products launched soon.”
Vanessa Bryant revealed that the decision to not renew the Nike contract came from her frustration with the athletic brand. Reportedly, Bryant and the estate had grown frustrated with Nike downsizing the availability of Kobe merchandise after his retirement and tragic death, plus the lack of availability of sizing for kids in footwear.
“I will continue to fight for that,” she said in an Instagram story post, explaining the tough decision. “Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says everything. 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.”
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Joane Amay is the Beauty and Style Director at Ebony magazine. A hoarder of shoes, baubles and sparkly things, she dreams one day of owning her own private island.