Spike Lee paid a colorful tribute to Kobe Bryant at the Oscars by arriving in a purple-and-gold Gucci suit marked with the late basketball star’s jersey number.
The legendary director had “24” embroidered on his back and across his lapel, while his custom outfit’s colors nodded to the LA Lakers, where Bryant spent his entire professional career.
Lee’s Instagram account was filled with tributes to Bryant in the days following the helicopter accident that killed the former player and eight others just over two weeks ago. Among the victims was Bryant’s 13-year-old daughter Gianna.
The filmmaker had a longstanding association with the star, having directed “Kobe Doin’ Work,” a 2009 documentary following a whole day in his life.
Arriving Sunday night at Hollywood’s Dolby Theater, where he is set to present an award at the 92nd Academy Awards, Lee completed his look with a purple hat, glasses and a pair of Nike Kobe 9 Elite “Strategy” sneakers, one of the many designs to emerge from Bryant’s long-standing collaboration with the brand.
Asked how he was doing by Ryan Seacrest during E!’s live red carpet coverage, the director was unable to summon a response. Seemingly lost for words, he shrugged before the interview shifted focus.
The look was reminiscent of Lee’s outfit at last year’s Oscars, where he paid tribute to pop legend Prince. Then nominated for his movie “BlacKkKlansman,” the director paired a purple Ozwald Boateng suit with a necklace bearing Prince’s symbol on the red carpet.