L.A. Times Stylist Says “Iconic” Kobe Shoot Inspired By Tupac, Lakers Star Spoke Italian On Set

- By Bossip Staff

When we first set eyes on Kobe’s LA Times photoshoot our thoughts ranged from “WTF” to “Suspect” to “PURE COMEDY,” but ultimately we knew Kobe was probably thrilled with the “Italianesqueness” of the whole concept. James Valeri, the stylist behind those weird getups, stepped forward this week to explain the shoot and we were SO not surprised to hear he and Kobe chatted it up in Italian on set — however learning that Valeri was inspired by Tupac to put that sweatband on Kobe was a complete shocker.

Photo 1: white button-down shirt, white bowtie, hat and headband

This was a prep look, but still unconventional. He’s wearing a shirt buttoned up with a bowtie, but we put a hat on and created a character. Kobe was amazing to work with because he was cool with everything. He trusted us. We took a picture and he liked it so we kept going. We wanted to do a picture with a hat because the photographer wanted to do everything in white. I didn’t want to use accessories that would look too retro. Let’s do it in a cool, young way because that’s what Kobe is. He’s a cool, young and successful athlete. I wanted to give a modern approach. I was thinking of [rapper] Tupac [Shakur] where I put a band underneath in the hat to make it look hip-hop, but … it translates in a surreal look where it creates a strong image. It was something that hasn’t been done before. It’s mixing the inspiration of Tupac and a gentleman with a white hat … a mix of a hip-hop and a conservative look.

Can you say EPIC FAIL????

Mind you, James isn’t at all fazed by the folks laughing at his work — he says the shoot was expected to incite a reaction, good or bad.

The scarf picture and the hat picture were more to create an iconic image. When you do a portrait, you do think of the styling in how they’re going to be different and how they’re going to stand out. In 10 years time, or five years time, there has to be something particular or strange or different that will stand out. That image will stay in your mind. That’s how it’s going to become iconic. … A lot of people aren’t used to that, so when iconic pictures come out, they’re disturbing, insulting, fascinating, it has a strong feeling attached to it, good or bad.

I was struck that he was a gentlemen. He was very polite and very friendly, but at the same time he was a normal guy. I thought he was a noble man and cool at the same time, extremely professional. I’m half-Italian and half-English, and I knew he lived in Italy when he was a kid. So we chatted in Italian on set. It was a way to get to know him. I remember there was hip-hop music in the background, and he was singing it and knew all the lyrics of the songs. It was fun. It wasn’t a normal shoot. We were working and very professional, but it was very fun. … He was very relaxed and didn’t give us an attitude at all.

Can you say FAIL of VAST AND EPIC PROPORTIONS??? Glad to hear they had fun because we will all be getting a laugh out of these pictures for the next decade.

Matter fact, next Halloween we’ll all be rocking the Kobe Bryant special — sweatbands with hats, or scarves on our heads.


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  • queen

    S e e k i n g A f f l u e n t c O m is a place for like-minded people who understand that intelligence, success and drive are key elements to attraction.

  • http://stewartsynopsis.com/Site%20Index.htm We "Blacks" Are The REAL Hebrew Israelites

    So dude looks like a Bedouin milk man. It’s not THAT bad. People are acting like

    1: He was the stylist for the shoot
    2: Like we don’t know that most of the crap in magazines looks suspect even on women.
    3: He was dressed in gold lame with some sequined bewty shorts.

  • Gotlegs

    that pic is Homosexual as hell! hahaha

  • cruzan trini

    I know Kobe was mad when he finally saw those shots. They did that man DIRTY!!!

  • RemoteControl2


  • Matix B

    Sit your Cream of Wheat looking azz down Kobe. Ain’t nobody need to see your suspect looking azz!

  • Hmmm

    Lol, I love Kobe but he takes a L for this! Check out the youtube vid for his and his teammates reactions. Fisher was comedy! Still don’t get why they made kobe that dark, that is NOT his skin colour!

  • http://stewartsynopsis.com/Site%20Index.htm We "Blacks" Are The REAL Hebrew Israelites

    DEAD@ Cream of Wheat!!


  • chaka1

    Kobe is very smart. He speaks fluent Italian regularly since he grew up there. Love him…

  • Matix B

    I always funking hated you kobe, now my hate is justified. ’bout TUPAC….Ni@@a last time you tried to be down you made a song with TRYA. GTFOH

  • chaka1

    He looks fruity as hell in these photos though. He lost some points here…

  • Matix B

    More like Hip Not!

  • Matix B

    Thank you Chaka1, he wasn’t smart enough to have final approval over his fruity azz image!

  • Angel(formerly UrHeiness)

    @We “Blacks” Are The REAL Hebrew Israelites: LMAO!!! DEAD @ your bedouin milkman comparison & I so hated these shots because he pretty much looked like corpse/mime LOL.

    A shame because Kobe’s so damn fine to me.

    Btw,I’ve always wanted to learn how to fluently read,speak & write Italian since I find it to be so sensual just like Portuguese.

    Greek’s another language of my interest as well.

  • Not Important

    Kobe, Stop.

  • Just Bored

    I didn’t even know it was him. I thought it was some ad for going to Jamaica.

  • Marquis de Sade

    I didn’t know that Tupac had gayman taste in fashion?

  • She said it...

    I used to hate on Kobe but after I saw the way he greeted the OKC Thunder after their loss to the Lakers, I saw true showmanship. Overall, Kobe is a good kid (man now) trying to do right in the American limelight. I’m sure if he could do it all over again, he would not have married that scary cow he is married to now. I guess to protect his image he can’t divorced his first like many of us nobodies can and have. And regarding the skank hoe in Colorado: which one of us have not f*ck someone that we just ask ourselves–why? I cringe when I think about it and surprised I’m not in therapy over it. I think we nobodies need to realize that the luxury of being a nobody is that you can f*ck up and not worry about what to say in your press release to the media.

  • Lady Star

    Hahaha… Had a good laugh! NEXT—>

  • http://twitter.com/ihavesuperpower twitter.com/ihavesuperpower

    i feel as though my intelligence has just been insulted. Kobe’s a h0.m0

  • Soul Man


  • MrTavMarie

    I’m not buying it,
    I’m not renting it,
    I’m not putting it on layaway, and
    I don’t want a raincheck.

    Nyookka I SMELL LIES!!!!!

  • jacquelinephillip@rogers.com

    The 1st pic is not that bad, but they are all funny. Maybe it’s Kobe’s alter ego at work!!!

  • ReALiSt aka ReALeSt(Weave Rights Bill)

    Don’t bring tupac into this gay chit!

  • cp

    that is just an insult to 2pac ….. Respect the dead …..

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