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The BlacKkKlansman director sported a custom purple Gucci suit with gold trim and patches of Bryant’s jersey number, 24, stitched on the lapels and on the back of the jacket. The two-button notch lapel Heritage suit was worn with a white shirt and black grosgrain bow tie.
Lee (who won the Oscar for best adapted screenplay last year and will present this year) kept his accessories purple as well, with a hat from Baron Hats and a pair of lavender glasses, dressed by BlacKkKlansman costume designer Marci Rodgers. He finished off the look with orange Nike Kobe 9 Elite Strategy basketball shoes.
“Tribute, honor, homage,” Lee said of his suit on the red carpet. “We all miss him. I’m presenting tonight but at the same…I wanted to represent. I want to do both tonight.”
Bryant became an Oscar winner in 2018 when his short film Dear Basketball took home the prize for best animated short film. The ceremony is also set to include a tribute to him and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, who both died in a helicopter crash in January.
In addition to being a basketball fan, Lee directed the 2009 documentary Kobe: Doin’ Work, which focused on Bryant’s work ethic during one day of the 2007-08 Los Angeles Lakers season.
Lee is no stranger to making statements on the Oscars red carpet. Last year, he wore knuckle rings reading “Love” and “Hate” on each hand from Do the Right Thing, while paying tribute to Prince with his purple suit and necklace.
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