Nike Honors Kobe Bryant With Touching Tribute During New York Fashion Week Show

Kobe Bryant was honored at Nike's New York Fashion Week show with a moving tribute that paid homage to his Los Angeles Lakers legacy.

By emily belfiore Feb 06, 2020 4:32 PMTags
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles LakersNoah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images

Kobe Bryant is on everyone's minds this fashion week.

On Wednesday, Nike honored the late athlete, who died in a helicopter crash last week, during their New York Fashion Week show with a special tribute to his Los Angeles Lakers legacy.

During a moving moment in the 2020 Nike Forum showcase, six children made their way onto the runway donning three versions of the Lakers jerseys, each featuring Bryant's famous numbers, 8 and 24. Making such a profound statement by wearing the team's classic jerseys, the young models stood still and looked out into the audience, sparking a poignant moment of silence to commemorate the NBA legend.

At the end of the show, the children returned to the runway and were joined by the models that walked in the show and a handful of the brand's biggest spokespeople, including athletes Brandi Chastain, English Gardner and Lisa Leslie, who was a dear friend of Bryant.

See Every Celebrity at Fashion Week: Fall 2020

In the audience, Bryant's famous pals, including Drake and Kendrick Lamar celebrated the Lakers legend from the front row.

Back in 2003, the record-breaking athlete signed a $40 million deal with Nike and released several sneaker collaborations with the famous athletic brand. Feeling the impact of his sudden and tragic loss, Nike's Kobe Bryant merchandise had quickly sold out following the news that he, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna Bryant, and seven others had passed away in the accident. 

Bennett Raglin/Getty Images

Reflecting on their partnership and respect for Bryant, Nike issued a statement shortly after news of his death broke.

"He 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," the brand's statement reads. "He was a beloved member of the Nike family. We will miss him greatly. Mamba forever," adding, "We extend our deepest sympathies to those closest to Kobe, especially his family and friends."

In the days following his passing, Bryant has been paid tribute to in several ways by the worlds of sports and entertainment. At the 2020 Grammys, which took place hours after his death at the Staples Center, host Alicia Keys open the show with a touching speech and a moving rendition of "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday" with Boys II Men.

He also received tribute at the L.A. Lakers' game on January 31, which marked the team's first game since his death. Kicking things off, Usher performed "Amazing Grace" for the grieving crowd and LeBron James gave an inspirational speech about this relationship with Bryant and his lasting impact on the game.

James and his teammates became emotional as Bryant's in memoriam video played. To make the night even more special, the Lakers reserved two seats for Bryant and his daughter and proudly displayed their jerseys.

One week after his passing, Bryant was also honored at the 2020 Super Bowl at the start of the game. In a moment of silence, an image of the father-daughter duo was displayed for everyone to see, along with the names of the victims. Paying homage to his Lakers number, the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers lined up on the 24-yard lines as they honored him.

During the Halftime Show, Jennifer Lopez and Shakira also made sure to pay tribute to Bryant by incorporating a cross into their set, as well as purple and gold lights to honor his time on the Lakers.