“This is a necklace that says ‘Slim.’ It was my nickname growing up,” the model, 19, explained in a video for Vogue‘s Beauty Secrets series that was published on Thursday, December 1, while showing the sparkly nameplate necklace to the camera. “I was just so eensy-teensy. All my jerseys said ‘Slim’ — I didn’t grow into the jerseys until I was older, so my dad always called me ‘Slim.’”
Natalia also showcased a second necklace that features a gold medallion honoring the Bryant family’s Mamba and Mambacita Foundation. The organization works to provide funding for underserved athletes in honor of Kobe and Gianna Bryant. “I actually wear this medallion with me all the time,” she confessed. “[The engraving] says ‘Dedication makes dreams come true.”
She continued: “It’s a quote from my dad, and it’s something I live by.”
The NBA legend — who also shares daughters Bianka, 5, and Capri, 3, with Vanessa Bryant — died in January 2020 at the age of 41 alongside his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers when their helicopter crashed into a hillside in Calabasas, California. The group were traveling to Kobe’s Mamba Sports Academy in Thousand Oaks for basketball practice at the time.
Natalia has frequently shared her favorite memories of Kobe and Gianna since their tragic deaths. In September 2021, the University of Southern California student opened up about bonding with the athlete over their shared love of movies. “My dad and I would always watch as many movies as we can and we’d go on, like, movie marathons,” she said in a YouTube video for IMG Models. “And then we’d always analyze as many movies as we can, and we’d talk about it for months. Anywhere we’d go, we’d just keep talking about different films and how it, like, reminds us of where we are. … Things like that just really inspired me, and I was like, ‘I want to do this, forever.’”
Later that month, she praised Kobe and Vanessa for making sure that their children stayed grounded. “Growing up, my parents made it as normal as possible,” Natalia told Teen Vogue. “Thank God they did. 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.’”
Describing the former L.A. Lakers player as “the best girl dad ever,” the teen explained that sharing her memories of her father with the world has been healing. “I love talking about my dad,” Natalia told the outlet. “It’s bittersweet, but I enjoy talking about him more than it’s sad for me.”
The California native once again reflected on her parents’ desire for her to live a normal life in her Vogue video. “I wanted to model when I was younger, but me and my mom had an agreement that I needed to get through high school first,” Natalia said in Thursday’s video. “And I’m so glad she made me go through high school before modeling because … modeling is a lot of work.”