The filmmaker sported a jacket of purple — or Forum Blue, for you old-school Laker fans — with gold trim and Bryant’s No. 24 on the labels, set off with a black (mamba) bowtie. He also wore purple pants and a pair of Kobe 9 Lows; that’s one of 11 signature models in Bryant’s line of Nike sneakers constructed to mirror the shoes boxers wear in the ring.
The Los Angeles Lakers legend was killed in a helicopter crash two weeks ago along with his daughter Gianna and seven others.
Longtime NBA superfan Lee has a special connection to Bryant. He directed Kobe Doin’ Work, the 2009 documentary that spotlighted the Hall of Famer over the course of a 2008 game against the San Antonio Spurs.
It’s not the first time Lee, who is set to lead the Cannes Film Festival jury this year, has made fashion statements on the Oscars red carpet. At last year’s Academy Awards, he wore a purple suit of a lighter shade in a nod to African American designers. Lee’s 2019 suit was created by Ozwald Boateng, the former creative director for Givenchy Men’s who created some of the clothing for Black Panther. That film’s Ruth E. Carter made Oscar history as the first African-American woman to win the Academy Award for Best Costume Design.