After designer Philipp Plein paid tribute to Kobe Bryant, in his Milan Fashion Week show, he faced backlash as some people took it the other way.
Designer Philipp Plein is facing backlash over his Milan Fashion Week show, after a tribute to Kobe Bryant rubbed some the wrong way.
On Saturday night in Italy, Plein’s show concluded with a nod to the late basketball legend featuring models like former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo and “Red Table Talk” host Jada Pinkett Smith, wearing attractive purple 24 jerseys.
The background featured a number of gold-coated vehicles, including two helicopters.
However, Philipp told a media organisation that the catwalk was planned way before in November and not after the accident occured on Jan. 26.
He claimed that he would have removed the helicopters if it was possible, but it was quite late as it was designed way before.
Philipp’s website also features a limited edition “Plein 24” collection, which features a $2,070 bedazzled purple jersey with the number 24 and Plein’s name in place of the Lakers and NBA logos. A purple and yellow sweatshirt version of the jersey is also sold for $3,150.
His site reads: “Philipp Plein is proud to support MAMBA & MAMBACITA FOUNDATION. A tribute to a legend,”.Plein also made a statement that the profits from the collection will be donated to MAMBA & MAMBACITA foundation and the “first $20,000” was sent even a day before the show.
“This tragedy affected myself and all the world deeply and I feel that my fashion show have been the best moment to express my respect and admiration for Kobe Bryant, his daughter Gianna and his family,” Plein wrote.
“It is sad to see how something positive and constructive can be misinterpreted by people who obviously want to interpret negatively without even having a reason. As a matter of fact, I am really doing something to help and support the foundation. Actions speak louder than words.”
A memorial for Bryant, his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, six friends and the helicopter pilot is scheduled for Monday at 1 p.m. ET at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
An outrage sparked online due to the show and collection sale, users argued that the show sensationalized Bryant’s death.
“Philipp Plein made two gold helicopters for his show today, which falls 27 days after Kobe died in a helicopter crash,” tweeted @BlissFoster. “BUT DONT WORRY he whipped up a bunch of Swarovski Kobe jerseys (with “Plein” written on them??) so it’s cool.”
“this is exploiting a cultural icon in a tragic loss of his life,” added @FlamestheWise.
“distasteful, tacky & material waste,” wrote @gaultiercouture. “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.”
Others argued the jerseys were a nice nod to the icon: “I loved the finale. What an awesome tribute,” Instagram user @kristy1030r commented.
User @sav_britt applauded Plein’s show for not only honoring Bryant, but for featuring a diverse cast of models.
“@philippplein is really about the culture and inclusivity and the event was nothing short of that,” she wrote. “From diverse models to hip hop to honoring Kobe Bryant’s legacy. Not to mention, I loved the clothes too! I walked away truly inspired by his #NoLimits campaign. Keep being an ally in pushing the culture forward!”