Vanessa Bryant Celebrates Late Daughter Gianna’s Birthday With Mambacita Fundraiser: ‘I Wish You Were Here’

Vanessa Bryant is celebrating her late daughter, Gianna Bryant, by launching a fundraiser in honor of what would have been the teen’s 15th birthday.

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Vanessa, 38, took to Instagram to remember her child on Saturday, May 1. “Dear Gianna, Happy 15th Birthday!” she captioned a throwback photo of her and Gianna smiling. “I 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!”

Vanessa Bryant Celebrates Late Daughter Gianna’s Birthday With Mambacita Fundraiser: ‘I Wish You Were Here’
Vanessa and Gianna Bryant. Courtesy of Vanessa Bryant/Instagram

Vanessa added the hashtag “Quincenera,” which notes that this would’ve been a milestone birthday marking her transition from girlhood to womanhood. In another post, the mother of four revealed she planned something special for the occasion.

“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,” she wrote.

Vanessa teamed up with Dannijo, a female-owned clothing business, to design a capsule collection of tie-dye sweatsuits honoring Gianna with 100% of the proceeds going to a good cause.

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“What Gigi would love most about the Collection is that 100% of the proceeds will support the Mamba and Mambacita Sports Foundation, which is dedicated to creating positive impact for underserved athletes and young women in sports,” the former model added. “Gigi was especially motivated to change the way everyone viewed women in sports, and it’s fitting that this capsule represents her values.”

The hoodies in the collection have “Mambacita” across the chest, and another hidden detail that honors the late athlete

“#PlayGigisWay” is on the right arm of the sweatshirt, celebrating Gianna’s shooting arm, and the sweatpants and face masks feature a number two in a heart, which “symbolizes the number she wore wrapped in love to represent her love for basketball and everyone she met,” Vanessa wrote on her Instagram Story. “It also represents the way we will forever hold Gianna in our hearts.”

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Many pieces were sold out within an hour of the California native’s announcement.

Vanessa Bryant Celebrates Late Daughter Gianna’s Birthday With Mambacita Fundraiser: ‘I Wish You Were Here’
Vanessa and Gianna Bryant. Courtesy of Vanessa Bryant/Instagram

Gianna, also known as Gigi, died in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, in January 2020. Her father, NBA legend Kobe Bryant, and seven other passengers also died in the accident. Kobe and Gigi were survived by Vanessa as well as the couple’s other daughters Natalia, 18, Bianka, 4, and Capri, 22 months.

Several NBA stars posted about the collection on Gianna’s birthday, including LeBron James, Kyrie Irving and Devin Booker.

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