The 18-year-old sat down with Teen Vogue for her first cover shoot, which comes after recently signing with IMG Models and starting school at the University of Southern California for film. Natalia was joined on set by her mother, Vanessa Bryant, along with her two baby sisters: 4-year-old Bianka and 2-year-old Capri.
In a profile on the teenager, written by Danyel Smith, Bryant opened up about her family unit—a bond made stronger by the loss of their patriarch, basketball legend Kobe Bryant, and their mambacita, Gianna “Gigi” Bryant, in January 2020.
During her interview, Natalia didn’t shy away from talking about her famous father, admitting that reliving her memories with him is a good thing more than something that upsets her.
“He was just like the best girl dad ever,” Bryant said about bonding with Kobe in 2019 over a Star Wars midnight showing. “He was just letting me play my playlist and jam out to Taylor Swift the whole ride back, and talk about Star Wars too. It was so much fun.”
She continued, “I love talking about my dad. It‘s bittersweet, but I enjoy talking about him more than it’s sad for me.”
Natalia also praised her parents for raising her to be a normal kid, not acting completely different just because of her famous family ties.
“Growing up, my parents made it as normal as possible. Thank God they did,” she said. “It’s not, Oh she’s Natalia Bryant, she’s Kobe Bryant’s daughter. A lot of times they saw me as ‘She’s just Nani.’”
Bryant went on to talk about taking a step back from volleyball after losing her father and sister, putting her goal to play the sport in college behind her.
“I quit volleyball after the accident because I was so…a lot was going on at that time,” she said. “I knew I didn’t…love volleyball as much as they love basketball. I’m okay with that… I just wanted to take a break from it.”
The model also talked about how her and her family are moving on following the tragic loss, saying they are all doing their best to keep the memory of Kobe and Gigi alive–especially for Bianka and Capri.
“You do the best that you can,” she said. “[For] my little sisters [we’re] trying to keep that memory for them. And also just trying to remember to live out every day the way they would.”