R’Bonney Gabriel, a model, fashion designer, and sewing instructor from Texas, was crowned Miss Universe 2023 on Saturday evening. According to the competition authorities, she is the first Filipina-American to win Miss USA. She received the crown from Harnaaz Sandhu, who will serve as Miss Universe 2021. Divita Rai did not even manage to get in the top five.
R’Bonney is a passionate environmentalist who designs eco-friendly clothing, models, and teaches others how to sew. She attributes her generally positive outlook to the fact that her upbringing included experiences in various fields, including the arts, sports, and international travel. She was a high school volleyball player when she decided to switch careers to fashion, and at the age of 15, she fell in love with making designs using fabrics and textiles. It was in 2018 that she graduated from the University of North Texas with a Bachelor of Science degree in Fashion Design and a Minor in Fibers. R’Bonney Nola, her own environmentally responsible clothing brand, with her serving as the company’s current chief executive officer.
Magpies & Peacocks is a non-profit design agency in Houston dedicated to using “Fashion As A Force For Good” through the organisation’s commitment to sustainability and community impact. R’Bonney is the chief sewing instructor at the organisation. They were recognised for their efforts to recover waste textiles and fabrics from landfills and transform them into fashion collections, and they were given the “Gucci Changemakers” award as a result of their accomplishments in this area. Sewing is one of the skills she teaches victims of human trafficking and domestic violence as part of the “MAKR” programme.
As the first Filipina-American to earn the title of Miss USA, she stresses the need to embrace both sides of one’s heritage. As a representative of Asian Americans, she paved the way for greater diversity and exposure in society, and it was an honour for her to be featured in Vogue Philippines. She expressed her gratitude for the opportunity. The mission of R’Bonney is to encourage women and young girls to realise their ambitions by loving and accepting themselves as they are.
Alejandra Guajardo, the Salvadoran beauty queen, entered the stage at Miss Universe dressed in a gold bodysuit modelled after bitcoin. Alejandra gave this dazzling present to her nation, which, two years ago, was the first place in the world to recognise cryptocurrencies as a form of legal tender.