It’s been just two weeks since the untimely passing of Kobe Bryant, and many are still searching for ways to honor the legendary player. Director Spike Lee, who worked with Kobe on the 2009 documentary Kobe Doin’ Work—which followed Bryant for a day during the 2007-2008 season—figured out one way to do it: He wore a Kobe-themed outfit to the 2020 Oscars.
Lee hit the red carpet in a purple-and-gold custom suit from Gucci, complete with the numbers “2” and “4” on the lapels, and Bryant’s complete number “24” on the back just in case anyone was confused. He completed the look with a purple cap, purple-rimmed glasses, a whole lot of bracelets, and the crucial finishing touch: a pair of Nike Kobe 9 Elites. The sneakers in question are from 2014, in a colorway called Sequoia.
It’s a touching move from a man who worked directly with Bryant, and one that points to the power of what celebrities wear on the red carpet. It can spark conversation, and remind us what the people we’re watching value and how they want to communicate those values to the world. Lee wanted to honor Bryant’s legacy, and his clothing tells that story.
Bryant’s is not a legacy that invites easy interpretation. As Esquire’s own Charles P. Pierce noted, it’s impossible to extricate the events of 2003, in which a 19-year-old hotel worker accused him of rape, from the rest of our reckoning with Bryant’s tragic death alongside his daughter Gianna and eight others in a helicopter crash. It is possible—if, yes, complicated—to confront the former fact while also mourning the latter tragedy. And, as it turns out, it is possible to do both of those things while also appreciating the style choices of a man who misses Bryant, and wanted the world to know that, and wore a suit that made that message very clear.
Source : Esquire