USA’s 28-year-old R’Bonney Gabriel was crowned as the 71st Miss Universe on Sunday at the Ernest N. Moral Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana. Gabriel represented the United States of America at the pageant. Here’s what we know about Miss Universe 2023.
R’Bonney Gabriel was born on March 20, 1994, in San Antonio, Texas. She is the daughter of an American mother Dana Walker and a Filipino father Remigio Bonzon “R. Bon” Gabriel, who moved to the country at the age of 25 to pursue a psychology degree at the University of Southern California.
With a minor in Fibers, Gabriel earned a bachelor’s degree in fashion design from the University of North Texas. She currently works as a model and a designer of sustainable and eco-friendly clothing. Gabriel used her design skills to make her own cape for the Miss Universe contest.
Check out a few pictures of the new Miss Universe making her own cape for the main event:
Gabriel’s first experience with pageantry was when she participated in the Miss Kemah pageant in 2020 and reached the top 5.
Later, she went on to compete in the Miss Texas USA 2021 pageant, losing to Victoria Hinojosa. In 2022, Gabriel competed in the Miss Texas pageant once more and this time she came out on top. She also became the first Miss USA of Flipino heritage after winning the Miss USA title in 2022.
On Sunday, Gabriela was crowned the new Miss Universe by India’s Harnaaz Sandhu, who was honoured with the title last year.
Check out a glimpse of the moment below:
While Gabriel won the title, Venezuela’s Amanda Dudamel and Dominican Republic’s Andreína Martínez became the first and second runner-ups, respectively.
Over 80 countries competed for the crown this year. However, only 16 countries – Spain, Colombia, Venezuela, India, Curacao, Trinidad, Tobago, Peru, Canada, Portugal, South Africa, Laos, Dominican Republic, Australia, Hait, and Puerto Rico made it to the top 16.
Divita Rai, a 25-year-old architect and model, represented India.