This fall, Natalia Bryant will experience a number of firsts. She will take her first college class, experience her first college party and likely be forced into her first college all-nighter. However, Bryant is and will never just be another college student. She is an aspiring filmmaker with an interest in modeling and fashion. As a member of the IMG modeling agency, Bryant covered Teen Vogue for the first of what will hopefully be many times.
For her first Teen Vogue cover, Bryant worked with stylist Solange Franklin and renowned photographer Raven "Ravie B." Varona. She also spoke to critically acclaimed journalist Danyel Smith about how her parents influenced her growing up. Most notably, she described how her father, Kobe Bryant, influenced her love for film and her mother, Vanessa Bryant, influenced her love for volleyball.
“It was the London Olympics. My mom took me to watch Misty May play beach volleyball," Bryant told Smith about how she developed for the sport.
“I was watching and [my Mom] was like, ‘Nani, you're going to love this sport. You’re going to love volleyball. I’m calling it right now. I think [my mom] knew I wasn’t confident in my height. She’s like, ‘You’re going to play volleyball. You’re going to get confident because of this. There are all these other tall girls too, so you’re not the only one.”
Like her father, Natalia Bryant loved sports and competition, but her interests expanded far beyond the field of play. She and her father had a bond that was built through their joint love for movies. Throughout her childhood, the father-daughter duo would go to the movies, hold all-day movie marathons and engage in all-out discussions about their favorite directors. While speaking with Smith, Bryant remembered going to see Rise of Skywalker with her dad.
“He was just like the best girl dad ever. 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 explained.
“I love talking about my dad. It's bittersweet, but I enjoy talking about him more than it's sad for me.”
Now, Bryant is preparing to enter an arena that her parents never had the chance to enjoy, college. Much like her love for volleyball, Natalia's mother is determined to make sure her daughter sees this endeavor through.
“For my mom, it was really important for me to go through high school and get my education. Especially complete college too," she said.
As she enters adulthood, the world is Bryant's to enjoy. College. Modeling. Filmmaking. They are all playgrounds for the 18-year-old who is wise beyond her years.