Natalia Bryant is taking a break from hitting the books at University of Southern California to hit the runway in Milan. The 20-year-old University of Southern California student, and daughter of the late Los Angeles Lakers all-star Kobe Bryant, is taking a break from her studies to walk for Versace’s spring 2024 show during Milan Fashion Week—her very first catwalk since signing with IMG Models in 2021.
“I am beyond excited about making my runway debut. It’s such an incredible opportunity and I’m so grateful to Donatella [Versace] and am honored that she has invited me to be a part of something so special,” Bryant tells Vogue. The fresh-faced model was put at ease by Versace herself, whom she met for the first time the day before the show at her fitting. “She was just so welcoming and sweet and made me feel so comfortable, especially with it being my first runway,” Bryant says. “Meeting her definitely helped settle any nerves.”
Bryant tried to enter the modeling industry with zero expectations. “I wanted to start fresh and do my own thing without having to worry about comparing myself to anyone or setting myself to anyone’s standard,” she says. “Thankfully I’ve only had positive experiences and I’ve been so happy to see how supportive and welcoming everyone has been.” Though, while she’s been keeping true to herself, she of course has some very famous figures to look to for inspiration—namely her mother, Vanessa Bryant.
Having a very stylish mother has been a boon for Bryant, who goes to her mom for style advice. While she maintains that Vanessa encouraged her to develop her own personal style, she still provided a much-needed dose of tough love. “I can always go to my mom and get her honest opinion. She keeps it real, and I know she always has my best interest at heart,” she says.
Her mom also gave Bryant some key advice about her strut. “She encourages me to have my own walk and establish my own way of doing things,”she says. “I’ve always loved watching videos of Naomi walking down the runway along with videos of other iconic supermodels I look up to. 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.’”