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Miss Universe Winner R’Bonney Gabriel of USA Takes the Crown With Plans to Use ‘Fashion As a Force for Good’

Introducing Miss Universe 2023, Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel of Texas. She took the crown tonight in New Orleans, Louisiana, besting 83 delegates and her fellow beauty queens who made the final three round: Miss Dominican Republic Andreína Martínez and Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel.

She wore a sparkling blue-black ombre dress with cutouts around the bodice and sleeves. A fringe skirt and bejeweled shoulders added a sleek textual finish. Platform heels completed the look.

miss universe winner 2023, NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 14: Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel Miss USA R'bonney Gabriel and Miss Dominican Republic Andreína Martínez speak during The 71st Miss Universe Competition at New Orleans Morial Convention Center on January 14, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
(L-R): Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel, Miss USA R’bonney Gabriel and Miss Dominican Republic Andreína Martínez speak during The 71st Miss Universe Competition at New Orleans Morial Convention Center on January 14, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
CREDIT: Getty Images

The high-pressure final three round includes a question and answer, which leaves the judges with their last impression of the next Miss Universe. They answered the same question: “If you win Miss Universe, how would you work to demonstrate this as an empowering and progressive organization?”

Gabriel responded, “I would use it to be a transformational leader. As a very passionate designer I’ve been sewing for 13 years, I use fashion as a force for good. In my industry, I’m cutting down on pollution through recycled materials. When I make my clothing. I do sewing classes to women that have survived from human trafficking and domestic violence.”

Continuing, “And I say that because it is so important to invest in others invest in our community, and use your unique talent to make a difference. 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.”

Gabriel is the pageant’s first Filipino-American winner. She was born to a Filipino father, Remigio Bonzon “R. Bon” Gabriel, and American mother Dana Walker.

Miss Venezuela, named first runner-up, wore a strapless dress that was embellished with sequins in light blue, dark blue and gold. It was complete with a mesh cape and heels.

Miss Dominican Republic, who is the second runner-up, wore a blush dress with silver embellishments and a sweetheart neckline with front slit. She coordinated with sandals that featured embellished straps around the ankle and across the toes.

NEW ORLEANS, LOUISIANA - JANUARY 14: Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel Miss USA R'bonney Gabriel and Miss Dominican Republic Andreína Martínez speak during The 71st Miss Universe Competition at New Orleans Morial Convention Center on January 14, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
(L-R): Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel Miss USA R’bonney Gabriel and Miss Dominican Republic Andreína Martínez speak during The 71st Miss Universe Competition at New Orleans Morial Convention Center on January 14, 2023 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
CREDIT: Getty Images

The 2023 Miss Universe pageant celebrates international beauty, as well as a range of humanitarian causes from its contestants. Held on Jan. 14 in New Orleans at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. The event calls upon contestants from at least 80 countries to compete for this year’s crown: a diamond and blue sapphire creation by Mouawad Jewelry, titled “Force for Good.” The crown will be bestowed upon the 2023 winner by the 2022 Miss Universe winner Harnaaz Sandhu of India.

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The event is sponsored by fashion, beauty and hospitality brands, including Carnival, Cream Silk, Hyatt Regency, J. by Jacqueline Aguilera, Jojo Bragais, Lazada, Liva, Muba, Portia and Scarlett and Olivia Quido. Miss Ukraine (Viktoria Apanasenko), Miss USA (R’Bonney Gabriel) and Miss Russia (Anna Linnikova) are viewed as top competitors in this year’s event. Hosts for the occasion include actress Jeannie Mai Jenkins and former Miss Universe Olivia Culpo.

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Formally labeled as an old-fashioned organization, Miss Universe pageant has since changed, ushering in a new era when it was bought in 2022 by transgender businesswoman Anne Jakkaphong Jakrajutatip for $20,000,000. The entrepreneur also owns Miss USA and Miss Teen USA as well as media outlets in Thailand.

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