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R'Bonney Gabriel … 1st Filipino to Be Crowned Miss Universe

Sun 15 Jan 2023 | 07:37 PM
R'Bonney Gabriel
R'Bonney Gabriel
Omnia Ahmed

R'Bonney Gabriel, the first Filipino American to win Miss USA, was crowned the 71st Miss Universe.

The pageant took place in New Orleans where 84 women from around the globe competed for the title.

Gabriel is a native of Houston and the CEO of the sustainable clothing line R'Bonney Nola. She held a bachelor's degree in fashion design from the University of Texas.

Her father immigrated from the Philippines "with about 20 dollars in his pocket" she said last year when she was crowned Miss USA. "I'm a very proud Filipina American."

"As a voice for Asian-Americans, she opens the door for more diversity and representation in society and was honored to be published in Vogue Philippines," the Miss Universe website mentioned. 

"R’Bonney’s mission is for women and young girls to see themselves in her, and feel inspired to conquer their goals by owning who they are."

Last year, Gabriel was accused of favoritism prompting an investigation during the Miss USA completion.

"It’s been a dream of mine. Obviously, it’s been kind of a rocky start. But I’m really looking forward to the year ahead and expanding on my platform," she told NBC News.