Just weeks after announcing that Kobe Bryant’s estate had parted ways with Nike, the late NBA star’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, announced the launch of her Mambacita clothing line on Friday.
Bryant said on her Instagram account that she will post the collection on May 1, the 15th birthday of Gianna or “Gigi”, Kobe and Vanessa’s daughter, who died with Kobe in a helicopter crash on January 26, 2020.
Bryant said 100% of the proceeds will go to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, the nonprofit created in memory of Kobe and Gigi to help underserved youth in sports.
Gigi’s nickname was Mambacita.
It’s unclear if this is the start of a bigger launch, but Bryant said unisex and kid sizes will be available. The website on which the collection was offered was down on Friday afternoon and said “internal error”.
According to Josh Gerben, a trademark attorney and founder of Gerben Intellectual Property, the Kobe Bryant property has filed more than a dozen trademark applications since May 2020. “Last year, Vanessa Bryant filed trademark filings on behalf of Kobe through a corporate entity indicating a desire to build a brand around the legacy of Kobe and Gianna,” he said.
Gerben said three trademarks are used in the images she posted, which include the word Mambacita, the M logo and the 2-heart logo. “Because of the trademark filing activity … I would also expect more products to hit the market soon,” he said.
Ultimately, creating a clothing and footwear brand without a large corporate partner will be challenging. This is certainly not out of the realm of possibility, but there are challenges on the corporate side that make partnering with an established company still a strong opportunity “Said Gerben.
Vanessa Bryant and Nike were at odds, according to sources. She was dissatisfied with the unavailability of its products, a strategy shoe companies often use to drive demand. On April 20, Bryant told fans that despite leaving Nike, she would hope that Kobe’s fans can wear his products for years to come.
“I will continue to fight for it,” she said in the post. “Kobe’s products sell out in seconds. That says it all.”