Meet the Filipina-American winner of Miss Universe, an eco-friendly fashion designer.
On Saturday night, R'Bonney Gabriel made history by becoming the first Filipina American to win the Miss Universe 2023 contest.
Gabriel and Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel were the two remaining contenders for the title.
Gabriel's varied talents and accomplishments earned the judges of the competition and the hearts of people all over the world.
Both inside and outside the US, the Filipino community celebrated when R'Bonney Gabriel was crowned. Here is a brief account of her life and the reasons why she is an inspiration to people all around the world.
Gabriel had been playing volleyball in high school when she discovered her new hobby: sewing. In college, she decided to major in fashion design. She is currently employed at Magpies & Peacocks, a non-profit design firm that upcycles waste materials into clothing.
She describes herself as a fashion designer, sewing instructor, and artist on the Miss Texas USA website. In her job as a fashion designer, she specializes in environmentally friendly materials and sustainable practices. She also teaches domestic violence victims how to sew.
"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," she said, when asked how she would demonstrate Miss Universe as a "empowering and progressive" organisation.
"We all have something special and when we plant those seeds for other people in our life, we transform them and we use that as a vehicle for change."
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