Philipp Plein Accused of Using Kobe Bryant’s Death to Sell FW20 Collection

Philipp Plein's fashion show and Kobe Bryant tribute during Milan Fashion Week FW20

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.

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About the author: Harold Brown
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