Culture

Meet Miss Universe 2023, Formerly Known As Miss USA, R'Bonney Gabriel

By Gina Florio
·  3 min read
rbonney nola
Instagram/@rbonneynola

The winner of the Miss Universe 2023 pageant was Miss USA, R'Bonney Gabriel. She's a 28-year-old Filipino-American from Houston, Texas. She dazzled the judges and the audience with her passion, beauty, and drive.

More than 84 contestants participated in the Miss Universe 2023 competition on Saturday, January 14. Women from all over the world gathered to display their beauty and represent their countries, with the same goal of taking home the coveted crown. The evening included three events: swimsuit, evening gown, and personality interview. In the middle of the events, the transgender owner of the Miss Universe pageant, Jakapong 'Anne' Jakrajutatip, a biological male, went on stage to announce that he was taking the organization out of the hands of men and give it to the women to run. Despite the brief moment in which Jakrajutatip attempted to steal the spotlight, the three finalists made everyone stop and stare. Miss Venezuela, Miss Dominican Republic, and Miss USA made it to the end, but in the end it was Miss USA, R'Bonney Gabriel, who won the crown and title of Miss Universe 2023.

Miss Universe 2023 Is Miss USA, R'Bonney Gabriel

The 5'7 titleholder of Miss Texas USA 2022 glided on the stage on Saturday evening, sharing her thoughts on how important it is to give back to your community. In her interview question, she spoke about how her fashion company creates opportunities for various women to learn how to sew and she encouraged the judges to consider raising the age limit of the pageant.

R'Bonney Gabriel was born in Houston, Texas to a Filipino father and American mother. Her father came to the US when he was 25 years old, eventually earning his doctorate degree in psychology at the University of Southern California. She has three older brothers. R'bonney got her bachelor's degree in fashion design with a minor in fibers from the University of North Texas. She started her own eco-friendly company called R'bonney Nola.

R'bonney Nola sells various types of apparel, including handmade dresses like the Mumbai Puff Dress, a black velvet mini dress paired with a red cape and puffed red sleeves.

rbonney nola dress
rbonney nola

R'bonney is a sewing instructor for Magpies & Peacocks, a 501c3 non-profit organization that is a design house "dedicated to the collection and sustainable reuse of post-consumer clothing, scrap textiles and accessories diverted from landfill."

Miss Universe will wear the crown for the next year and live in the NYC apartment offered by the organization, traveling around the world while being paid a handsome salary to represent her country and help empower women from all backgrounds. According to the Miss Universe website, "The Miss Universe Organization exists to advocate for a future forged by women with courage to push the limits of what’s possible, who are curious in the discovery, and the audacity to do it again." R'bonney Gabriel already has many fans who believe she will wear the crown well and make the USA proud!