Spike Lee is one of the biggest names in Hollywood, and he is taking the opportunity to use fashion to make a statement by paying tribute to his friend, the late basketball star Kobe Bryant, by wearing a purple and yellow custom suit to the 92nd Academy Awards. The suit jacket worn by Lee is embroidered with Bryant’s basketball number “24”. The purple and yellow color scheme of the suit matches the team colors of the Los Angeles Lakers, the professional basketball team for which Bryant played for 20 years.
The custom suit was designed and produced by Gucci, made specifically for Lee and his request to pay homage to Bryant, who was one of nine people who tragically passed away in a helicopter accident in late January 2020. The right lapel of the suit jacket is embroidered with the number “2” and the left suit lapel is embroidered with the number “4”. Together, the numbers pay tribute to Bryant’s former number “24”. Lee’s accessories included lavender glasses and a hat by Baron Hats.
On The Red Carpet
Lee has been grazing the red carpet, giving several interviews about his work in film and, of course, his custom purple and yellow suit. Of his late friend, Lee has said, “Tribute, honor, homage. We all miss him. I’m presenting tonight, but at the same time, I wanted to represent. I want to do both tonight.”
Lee has been known to pay tribute through his fashion in the past. At the 91st Academy Awards in 2019, he paid tribute to Prince by wearing a purple suit by Ozwald Boateng. He paired the suit with a necklace representing Prince’s symbol.
In addition to paying tribute to Bryant by wearing a custom Gucci suit in the colors purple and yellow, Lee also paid homage to the basketball star by wearing a pair of Nike Kobe 9 Elite Strategy basketball shoes. The specific pair of shoes worn by Lee at the 2020 Oscars is from the collaboration that Bryant did with Nike.
Kobe Bryant won an Oscar at the 90th Academy Awards in 2018. He won in the category of “Best Animated Short Film” for Dear Basketball. The short film was produced by Bryant and directed by Glen Keane. The premise for the film was inspired by Bryant’s 2015 poem by the same name, the poem he released when he announced that he would be retiring from professional basketball.
READ NEXT: Oscars 2020 Hosting News: There Will Be No Host This Year