My necklaces are a tribute to late father Kobe Bryant +2023

Natalia Bryant's necklace is a sweet reminder of late father Kobe Bryant

Natalia Bryant with Kobe Bryant. Shutterstock (2)

close to her heart Natalia Bryant revealed the touching meaning behind the two necklaces she wears every day – and her connection to her late father, Kobe Bryant.

“It’s a necklace that says ‘Slim.’ It was my nickname growing up,” the 19-year-old model explained in a video for Fashion‘s Beauty Secrets series which was released on Thursday December 1 while showing the sparkling name tag necklace for the camera. “I was just so eensy-teensy. All my shirts said ‘Slim’ – I didn’t grow into shirts until I was older so my dad used to call me ‘Slim’.”

Natalia also presented a second gold medallion necklace honoring the Bryant family Mamba and Mambacita Foundation. The organization works to fund underserved athletes in honor of Kobe and Gianna Bryant. “I actually carry this locket with me all the time,” she confessed. “[The engraving] says: “Devotion makes dreams come true.”

She continued, “It’s a quote from my dad, and it’s something I live by.”

The NBA legend – with whom she also shares daughters Bianka (5) and Capri (3). Vanessa Bryant – died in January 2020 at the age of 41 along with his 13-year-old daughter Gianna and seven other passengers when their helicopter crashed into a hill in Calabasas, California. The group was traveling to Mamba Sports Academy in Kobe in Thousand Oaks for basketball practice at the time.

Natalia has frequently shared her fondest memories of Kobe and Gianna since her tragic death. In September 2021, the University of Southern California student opened up about the bond with the athlete over their shared love of movies. “My dad and I used to watch as many movies as we could and do sort of movie marathons,” she said in a YouTube video for IMG Models. “And then we would always analyze as many films as possible and talk about them for months. Everywhere we went we just talked about different movies and how it reminds us of where we are. … Things like that really inspired me and I was like, ‘I want to do this forever.’”

Later that month, she praised Kobe and Vanessa for keeping their kids grounded. “When I was growing up, my parents made it as normal as possible,” says Natalia Teen Vogue. “Thank god they did it. It’s not, ‘Oh, she’s Natalia Bryant, she’s Kobe Bryant’s daughter.’ Often they saw me as ‘She’s just Nani’.”

The teenager described the former LA Lakers player as “the best dad ever to a girl” and explained that sharing her memories of her father with the world was healing. “I love talking about my dad,” Natalia told the outlet. “It’s bittersweet, but I enjoy talking about him more than it saddens me.”

The California native once again reflected on her parents’ desire for her to live a normal life in her Vogue video. “When I was younger, I wanted to model, but my mom and I had an agreement that I had to graduate from 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.”

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