THE YEAR has claimed two greats. Kobe Bryant perished in a helicopter crash last January, while Chadwick Boseman finally succumbed to colon cancer just last weekend.
In the middle of a year that’s seen a global pandemic and recession, it was these two deaths that struck a collective nerve. The announcement of Boseman’s surprise passing even became the most hearted Tweet in the history of the social platform — while tributes to Kobe Bryant continue to pour in months after the accident.
Designer Moe Radke decided to make a one-of-a-kind tribute to the two by creating a sneaker concept that will most likely sell gangbusters if it turns into reality.
Radke, who is a senior designer for Riot Games and (according to his bio) works in online shooter Valorant, based the model on the Kobe VII, which was originally released back in 2011. It’s an already futuristic silhouette that matches the Wakanda aesthetic, especially with the angular rise of the midsole.
He designed this concept shoe with a luxurious purple upper, a jet black frame, and a regal gold Swoosh. Black Panther-esque talons border the laces.
Radke also designed a Black Panther x Black Mamba logo, which combines a graphic of the superhero's mask with Kobe’s signature Nike mark.
“Wakanda Forever!!! Rest in Power to two Kings gone way too soon. Let their legacy and lessons live on. PURPOSE. PASSION. CURIOSITY,” the designer wrote on Instagram.
Just the week before, Radke has designed another concept shoe for Kobe Day, combining the silhouettes of the Kobe V and Kobe VI into one Mamba tribute.
Elsewhere on social media, various users have uploaded in-memoriam art of both Bryant and Boseman.