Vanessa Bryant has honoured her late daughter Gianna’s 15th birthday with an emotional tribute.
On Saturday, Bryant celebrated what would have been her daughter’s birthday with a photo of the two from when Gianna, known by her nickname Gigi and Mambacita, was little.
“Dear Gianna, Happy 15th Birthday! love you! I miss you everyday! I wish you were here with us. There are no words to express how much I miss you. I love you Mamacita!” the mother-of-four captioned the photo.
On her Instagram Stories, where Bryant shared the same photo, she added: “Mommy, Daddy, Nani, BB and Koko love you and miss you so much!”
In a separate post, Bryant, who announced on Friday she would be launching a Mambacita clothing line honouring her daughter, with all proceeds going to her Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, reflected on her decision to commemorate Gigi with the new brand.
Sharing a photo of herself and her and Kobe Bryant’s daughters Natalia, 18, Bianka, four, and Capri, one, all wearing clothes from the new fashion line, Bryant wrote: “Today is my Baby’s Birthday.
“When I thought about how best to celebrate Gianna’s birthday with so many who loved her, I knew it had to be a combination of sharing her bright and fun personality with her sense of purpose and passion that would help make a difference in this world.”
Bryant then went on to share details of her daughter’s personality, revealing that Gianna, who died in a helicopter crash in January 2020 along with her father and seven others, was “kind, energetic, a leader, and had so much MAMBACITA swag”.
The basketball star’s widow also shared additional information about the limited-edition tie-dye capsule collection, which was created in collaboration with brand DANNIJO and which she said “celebrates Gigi’s spirit in every little detail”.
One detail includes the placement of the words “PlayGigisWay” on the right arm of each hoodie, which Bryant said was her daughter’s basketball shooting arm. The sweatpants will also feature the number two, which was Gianna’s jersey number.
According to Bryant, what her daughter would love most about the collection is that it will benefit the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which helps underserved youth in sports.
“Gigi was especially motivated to change the way everyone viewed women in sports, and it’s fitting that this capsule represents her values,” Bryant continued.
In the post, Bryant also expressed her gratitude to everyone who had helped make the collection possible, before also sharing her appreciation for “the way the world continues to celebrate our sweet girl”.
“Please know our family deeply appreciates the way the world continues to celebrate our sweet girl, and we look forward to paying it forward to future Lil MAMBACITAS and Lady Mambas through the work of our foundation,” she said.
Gianna’s birthday also prompted a series of birthday messages from notable individuals such as Naomi Campbell, who commented: “Happy Birthday Gigi,” and Viola Davis, who wrote: “Happy birthday Gianna!! You will be forever remembered. Forever loved.”
In a separate tribute, Kobe Bryant’s sister Sharia Washington also celebrated her niece’s birthday, sharing various photos of the young basketball player and writing: “Happy 15th birthday Gigi. You inspire us to do better and be better everyday.
“We love you and we miss you!”