Designer Philipp Plein is facing backlash after his FW20 collection show at Milan Fashion Week contained a tribute to Kobe Bryant. The German designer is being accused of using Bryant’s death to sell his new collection.
During the show, models walked the runway wearing Swaroski-embellished Lakers-style jerseys and hoodies; a giant “Plein” replaced the NBA team’s logo, and Bryant’s number, 24, adorned the pieces. A Plein-branded helicopter was also part of the show — a particularly controversial inclusion, considering how the NBA legend died.
Speaking to Vogue backstage, the designer explained that the helicopters were commissioned long before Bryant’s passing. “If I would have known what happened, after the accident, I would not have put helicopters there. It was terrible what happened, but I couldn’t cancel the helicopters anymore.”
The Lakers-inspired hoodies and jerseys are already available on the brand’s online shop for $2,070 and $3,150, respectively. Plein’s site mentions that the pieces are “in support” of Kobe Bryant’s Mamba & Mambacita Sports Foundation, but fails to specify how much of the profits will be donated.
Check out some of the reactions to Philipp Plein’s show below.
Philipp Plein made two gold helicopters for his show today, which falls 27 days after Kobe died in a helicopter crash
BUT DONT WORRY he whipped up a bunch of Swarovski Kobe jerseys (with “Plein” written on them??) so it’s cool.
Fuck you, Philipp. pic.twitter.com/UHjbubXuG9
— Bliss Foster (@BlissFoster) February 23, 2020
I’d say I’m surprised but Philipp Plein is a scumbag. He also made two gold helicopters for his show. Fuck you Philipp for bastardizing the Bryant legacy.
— nyoldman (@NYDoorman) February 23, 2020
distasteful, tacky & material waste. philipp plein who has so long been making clothing that adds nothing but clutter to the fashion landscape has decided to include gold helicopters along his crystal basketball jerseys after the passing of kobe & gianna bryant. its disgusting. pic.twitter.com/zvFq4oU5gG
— ꪑꫀꪀᦔꫀꪶ (@gaultiercouture) February 23, 2020
this is disappointing, distasteful, and disrespectful .Philipp Plein making a “tribute” to Kobe Bryant by featuring a gold helicopter and tastelessly placing his name all over lakers style jerseys with kobe’s number. I am actually shocked. pic.twitter.com/AD4gBjY0zm
— b e l l e (@bellesmiith) February 23, 2020