Philipp Plein Defends Kobe Bryant Tribute Amid Backlash (UPDATE)

Designer Philipp Plein is facing backlash after he debuted a Kobe Bryant tribute during his Milan Fashion Week show on Saturday.

Philipp Plein

Image via Getty/Estrop

Philipp Plein

UPDATE, 2/25/20 2:15 p.m. ET: Philipp Plein has released a statement in response to the backlash he's received over his recent Kobe Bryant tribute during Milan Fashion Week, with the designer defending what took place. "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," he wrote. "As a matter of fact, I am really doing something to help and support the foundation."

Read his full statement below.

The catwalk set-up was already planned and designed in November 2019, way before this tragic accident occurred, this is the reason why they were gilded helicopters on the runway. I would have clearly removed them if possible, but it was too late to replace them. 

See below for original story.

Designer Philipp Plein is facing backlash after he debuted a Kobe Bryant tribute during his Milan Fashion Week show on Saturday. With models that included Olivia Culpo and Jada Pinkett Smith, alongside a performance from Tyga, Plein's show featured Lakers-style jerseys and sweatshirts covered in crystals and Bryant's number, 24. A gold Plein-branded plane, yacht, and helicopter were also on stage.

While the collection was seen as "distasteful" and "tacky" by some, the real issue for many came from the designer apparently using Kobe's death to sell his new collection. Additionally, the golden helicopter has proved controversial, as Kobe and his 13-year-old daughter Gianna died in a helicopter crash on Jan. 26. The pieces are part of a new capsule collection, and the proceeds are expected to go to the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation. Regardless, fans were still upset about the show overall.

See what Twitter had to say below.

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.

— ꪑꫀꪀᦔꫀꪶ (@gaultiercouture) February 23, 2020

The proceeds from the jerseys go to Kobe’s Mamba foundation

— Savannah Britt (@sav_britt) 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.

📸: @BlissFoster

— nydoorman.tez (@NYDoorman) February 23, 2020

Sidenote: SUPER disappointed in Jada P. Smith for participating in ANYTHING Phillip Plein related, let alone a tone deaf Kobe tribute. Bedazzled 24 jerseys? Gold helicopters? It’s sad really.

— vonluxx (@VONLUXX) February 23, 2020

#PhilippPlein stays making T R A S H. I’m not ok with all.

— L. BOOGIE (@notyoursnvrwas) February 23, 2020

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