February 11, 2020

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Nike Pays Tribute to Kobe Bryant During New York Fashion Week Show

Kobe Bryant‘s legacy extends beyond the basketball court and onto the fashion runway.

On Wednesday, Nike honored the late Los Angeles Lakers legend during their New York Fashion Week show at The Shed in New York City.

The 2020 Nike Forum experience showcased models donned in the brand’s vibrant line of athleisure and included pieces designed for the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. During one poignant moment in the midst of the energetic show, six children walked out onto the runway wearing classic Lakers jerseys with Bryant’s famed numbers, 8 and 24.

The young athletes stood quietly and looked out into the audience, honoring the athlete, who died in a helicopter crash alongside his  13-year-old daughter Gianna on Jan. 26.

Later, the kids returned to the runway and were joined by the models and athletes for a dance segment at the end of the show. The children posed in the middle of the stage area, hand-in-hand with great athletes such as soccer star Brandi Chastain, basketball player Lisa Leslie and track and field star English Gardner.

Celebrities in attendance at the show included Drake, Kendrick Lamar, Rosalía and Travis Scott, who all took in the unique runway experience from the front row.

Bryant had signed a $40 million deal with Nike in 2003. After his death, the brand released a statement in his honor, writing, “Kobe was one of the greatest athletes of his generation and has had an immeasurable impact on the world of sport and the community of basketball. He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly. Mamba forever.”

In the days after his death, Nike said they had sold out of all Bryant-related products, despite reports that they were pulled from the website in order to limit the resell of the NBA star’s merchandise so that items wouldn’t later be resold at a higher price.

Site searches for “Kobe” or “Kobe Bryant” now redirect to the statement.

Bryant and Gianna, who was also a rising basketball star, died in a helicopter crash alongside seven others: John Altobelli, Keri Altobelli, Alyssa Altobelli, Sarah Chester, Payton Chester, Christina Mauser and pilot Ara Zobayan.

The athlete’s widow, Vanessa Bryant, spoke out for the first time last week, telling fans in an emotional Instagram post that she is “devastated” over the loss of her “adoring” husband, 41, and their “beautiful, sweet” daughter Gianna.

“My girls and I want to thank the millions of people who’ve shown support and love during this horrific time. Thank you for all the prayers,” Vanessa wrote.

“We definitely need them. We are completely devastated by the sudden loss of my adoring husband, Kobe — the amazing father of our children; and my beautiful, sweet Gianna — a loving, thoughtful, and wonderful daughter, and amazing sister to Natalia, Bianka, and Capri,” she said.

If you would like to help the families of the victims of the crash, consider donating to the. Contributions to the will help support youth sports.