Vanessa Bryant couldn’t help but rave about daughter Natalia Bryant‘s debut as a runway model during Milan Fashion Week on Friday, September 22.
“Natalia, I’m so proud of you! You did it mama!!!!” Vanessa, 41, wrote via Instagram. “I love you so much and I’m so happy for you @nataliabryant ! Bellísima! 😘 Versace! ❤️.”
Natalia, 20, walked in the Versace Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 show alongside the likes of Gigi Hadid and Kendall Jenner. Hours later, she walked in the Boss Womenswear Spring/Summer 2024 fashion show.
“Still feels like a dream. I am beyond honored and grateful,” Natalia shared via Instagram after the shows. “This was such an incredible experience, I had the best time and felt so much love and support throughout it all. ♥️.”
The college junior (she attends the University of Southern California) signed with IMG Models in February 2021. She told Vogue on Friday that while nervous about her runway debut, she was calmer after meeting with designer Donatella Versace.
“She was just so welcoming and sweet and made me feel so comfortable, especially with it being my first runway,” Bryant said. “Meeting her definitely helped settle any nerves.”
She added that she takes advice from Vanessa when it comes to the perfect catwalk. “I’ve always loved watching videos of Naomi [Campbell] walking down the runway along with videos of other iconic supermodels I look up to,” Natalia told Vogue. “My mom says, ‘Walk like Naomi but remember to be yourself, put your own style to your walk and always with your head held high.’”
Natalia is the eldest of Vanessa’s children with the late Kobe Bryant, who died at age 41 in a 2020 helicopter crash alongside 13-year-old daughter Gianna. Natalia’s younger sisters are Bianka, 6, and Capri, 4.
The model honors the late NBA star’s memory in many ways, including two necklaces that she regularly wear.
“This is a necklace that says ‘Slim.’ It was my nickname growing up,” she explained in a video for Vogue’s Beauty Secrets series in December 2022. “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 showed off a second necklace with 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 shared. “[The engraving] says ‘Dedication makes dreams come true.”