R’Bonney Gabriel, a 28-year-old Houston native, was crowned the 71st Miss Universe pageant on Saturday, competing as Miss USA. The model and fashion designer beat out Amanda Dudamel from Venezuela and Andreína Martínez from the Dominican Republic, who were also in the top three, for the coveted title. The competition was held in New Orleans, with 84 women from around the world vying for the crown.
Back in October, Gabriel made history when she became the first Asian-American as well as the first woman of Filipino descent to win Miss USA. She was also the first Filipina to win Miss Texas. A 2018 graduate of the University of North Texas, Gabriel runs her own independent clothing label out of Houston called R’bonney Nola. She is also a sewing instructor at Houston-based nonprofit Magpies & Peacocks, which collects and reuses post-consumer clothing, scrap textiles, and accessories diverted from landfills to create sustainable clothing.
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