Edited By: Bohni Bandyopadhyay
Last Updated: January 15, 2023, 11:49 IST
The 71st Miss Universe pageant was held at the New Orleans Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana, United States on January 14. Contestants from over 84 countries participated and competed at this year’s pageant. Reigning queen, India’s Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu, crowned Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel as she won the Miss Universe 2022 pageant.
While Miss Venezuela was the first runner up, Miss Dominican Republic was crowned as the second runner up. India’s Divita Rai made it to the top 16 but she couldn’t go further.
It was the final question that sealed the faith of Miss USA 2022. She was asked, “If you win Miss Universe, how will you work to demonstrate this is an empowering and progressive organization?” She replied, “Well, I would use it to be a transformational leader. As a very passionate designer, (having) 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 teach sewing classes to women that have survived from human trafficking and domestic violence. 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 (in) other people in our life, we transform them, and we use that as a vehicle for change.”
According to the Miss Universe website, R’Bonney is an eco-friendly fashion designer, model, and sewing instructor with an excitement for life. She attributes her opportunistic outlook to her upbringing immersed in the arts, sports, and travel. As a high-school volleyball player who pivoted to fashion, she quickly fell in love with constructing designs with fabrics and textiles at the young age of 15. At the University of North Texas, she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Design with a Minor in Fibers in 2018. She is currently CEO of her own sustainable clothing line, R’Bonney Nola.
She is the first Filipino-American to win Miss USA.. As a voice for Asian-Americans, she opens the door for more diversity and representation in society.
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