The New Miss Universe R'Bonney Gabriel Is A Talented Fashion Designer & Teacher From Texas

Here's everything you need to know about the Filipina American winner!

R'Bonney Gabriel in Oahu, Hawaii. Right: Gabriel posing in a dress she created.
Texas Staff Writer

R'Bonney Gabriel in Oahu, Hawaii. Right: Gabriel posing in a dress she created.

A Texas woman recently assumed the powerful title of Miss Universe after beating out 83 pageant contestants from countries all over the world.

The Filipina American fashion designer R'Bonney Gabriel is from the Houston, TX area. She first won the top title at the Miss Texas USA competition in the spring of 2022. Later that year, she was crowned Miss USA, which was followed by contentious claims the pageant was rigged.

On January 14, 2023, the Miss Universe judges chose the Houstonian as the winning woman to wear the "Force For Good" crown and represent the organization for the year.

Who is the new Miss Universe 2023?

Gabriel, a 28-year-old who first won Miss Friendswood USA in her native Bayou City suburb to qualify, does much more than compete for pageant titles.

She has been a fashion designer for 15 years and has long been a supporter of creating "eco-friendly" designs.

The creator runs her own fashion label, R'Bonney Nola, and designs everything from $38 T-shirts to an $850 gown, all made from recycled material.

Where is R'Bonney Gabriel from?

She's a Houston, Texas girl, through and through.

Apart from her new job as Miss Universe, she's currently a sewing teacher at fashion house Magpies and Peacocks in the Bayou City educating students on how to sew different types of material using deadstock fabrics and textiles.

Gabriel runs classes that are a part of the non-profit's MAKR Collective program, which helps provide different life tools to trauma victims, like formerly trafficked people so that they can learn a new skill.

The beauty queen actually wears some of her own designs while on stage competing, as well, and each look is also made out of recycled fabrics.

Has Miss USA ever won Miss Universe?

A total of nine American women have now won the coveted international pageant title, which is actually the most held by any country.

Most recently in 2012, former Miss Rhode Island USA Olivia Culpo won the sash and tiara, which shot her to Internet fame, acting roles, and modeling gigs.

Culpo was in New Orleans this past weekend to support Gabriel, who is now in the same position she once held 11 years ago.

This article has been updated since it was originally published on July 11, 2022.

Brittany Cristiano
Texas Staff Writer
Brittany Cristiano was a Staff Writer for Narcity’s USA Desk focused on viral TikToks, and trending local characters in the Southern United States. She is based in Houston, Texas.