After a stunning performance on the Miss Universe stage, Texan fashion designer, model, and sewing instructor R’Bonney Gabriel has been crowned the winner
New Orleans: On Saturday night, history was made as R’Bonney Gabriel from Texas became the first-ever Filipino American to win Miss Universe. She is a fashion designer, model, and sewing instructor.
With closed eyes and clasped hands, Gabriel stood alongside runner-up Miss Venezuela, Amanda Dudamel. After the suspenseful reveal of the winner’s name, her face lit up in joy as she heard that she had been chosen as Miss Universe 2022.
As the thumping music reverberated, Miss Universe 2022 winner was presented with a bouquet of flowers and crowned onstage at the 71st annual Miss Universe competition in New Orleans.
At the Q&A stage of the contest, Gabriel was questioned on how she would work in order to demonstrate that Miss Universe is “an empowering and progressive organization” if chosen as the winner.
Gabriel replied, mentioning how she utilizes reused fabric for her fashion designs as well as tutoring sewing classes to those who have been victims of human trafficking and domestic abuse. She said, “I would use it to be a transformational leader. It is so important to invest in others, invest in our community, and use your unique talent to make a difference.”
According to Miss Universe, Gabriel is an alumnus of the University of North Texas and a former high school volleyball player. She is also the CEO of her own sustainable clothing line as indicated by a short bio on the organization’s website.
Gabriel stated, “We all have something special, and when we plant those seeds to other people in our life, we transform them and we use that as a vehicle for change.”
The competition welcomed an impressive 90 contestants from all corners of the globe, with activities including “personal statements, in-depth interviews and various categories including evening gown & swimwear.”
Coming in second place was Andreina Martinez from the Dominican Republic. Rounding out the five finalists were Gabriela Dos Santos of Curacao, and Ashley Carino of Puerto Rico.