R’Bonney Gabriel is an American model, fashion designer, and sewing instructor who holds the title of Miss Universe 2022. She is a Sustainable Fashion Advocate. R’Bonney believes in sustainability and always looks for ways to reuse old and cast-off clothes as a sustainable fashion designer.
R’Bonney Nola Gabriel was born on Sunday, 20 March 1994 (age 29 years; as of 2023) in Houston, Texas, the United States. Her zodiac sign is Pisces. She pursued a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fashion/Apparel Design with a minor in Fibres at the University of North Texas in the United States.
Height (approx.): 5′ 7″
Weight (approx.): 50 kg
Hair Colour: Light Brown
Eye Colour: Hazel
Figure Measurements (approx.): 32-24-35
Parents & Siblings
R’Bonney Gabriel was born to a Filipino father, Remigio Bonzon Gabriel, also known as R. Bon. Gabriel, and an American mother, Dana Walker. Her father is originally from Manila, the capital of the Philippines and its second-most populous city, and her mother is from Beaumont, a city in southeastern Texas. In an interview, R’Bonney called herself a proud Filipina Texan and said,
My dad moved to America from the Philippines on a college scholarship with about $20 in his pocket. He wanted to pave a new life for himself. He met my mom in Texas, who is a country woman from Beaumont. I’m a very proud Filipina Texan.” Good Morning America
R’Bonney has three elder brothers.
R’Bonney Gabriel follows Christianity.
In 2011, R’Bonney Gabriel joined ‘David Peck,’ a retail apparel and fashion company that provides women’s clothes, as a Production Assistant in Houston, Texas and worked for nearly a year.
R’Bonney worked as an E-Commerce Model for the beauty brand ‘Shop Miss A’ from 2015-2016 at 10601 King William Dr in Dallas, Texas. In 2015, she joined the modelling agency ‘Callidus Agency’ in Dallas, Texas and worked as a model for three years.
R’Bonney Gabriel worked as a Production Intern for ‘Nicole Miller,’ a global fashion and lifestyle brand headquartered in New York City, and ‘Esé Azénabor,’ a clothing brand owned by Esé Azénabor-Grembowski.
Founder and CEO
In 2018, Gabriel founded an independent fashion label, ‘R’Bonney Nola’ in Houston, practising sustainable design methods and using repurposed or natural fabrics.
In 2020, Gabriel joined ‘Magpies & Peacocks,’ a non-profit design house that works on building a sustainable future for local emerging designers by collecting and reusing post-consumer clothing, scrap textiles, and accessories to create new outfits.
After years of working as a model for different brands and designers, R’Bonney Gabriel decided to get into pageantry and started researching beauty queens following which she realised that beauty queens not only look beautiful and carry themselves well but hold the ability to speak for their passion and advocate for what they care about. According to Gabriel, she realised that pageantry was a beautiful blend of modelling and being able to speak about passion and make an impact. Later, R’Bonney Gabriel signed up at the MISS Academy, a beauty school in Houston, Texas, to set the foundation to contest in beauty pageants. CW39 Houston – YouTube
Miss Kemah USA
R’Bonney Gabriel entered the pageantry by contesting in Miss Kemah USA 2020, where she was placed as 1st runner-up.
R’Bonney competed at Miss Houston 2021 and was placed as 1st runner-up.
Miss Texas USA
Gabriel competed at Miss Texas USA 2021 as Miss Harris County and was placed as 1st runner-up to Victoria Hinojosa of South Texas. According to R’Bonney, she was upset after edging out from the contest, and she decided to compete again for the title in 2022. R’Bonney Gabriel represented Texas at Miss USA 2022 and subsequently won the title of Miss USA 2022, becoming the first Miss USA of Filipino descent. The Washington Post
In an interview, R’Bonney revealed that she wanted to wear self-designed clothes in Miss USA 2022 contest for which she tried to design as many outfits as possible in the time frame she had before appearing in different rounds including the interview and opening number. R’Bonney designed her outfit for the interview round at Miss USA 2022 contest and named it Filipiniana, a traditional dress worn by women in the Philippines.
Gabriel designed a red cocktail dress from an old red jacket for the opening number round at the Miss USA 2022 competition.
On 15 January 2023, the United States candidate R’Bonney Gabriel was crowned Miss Universe 2022 at a ceremony held in New Orleans. Miss Dominican Republic Andreína Martínez bagged the 2nd Runner-up spot, and the 1st Runner-up spot was won by Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel.
Harnaaz Kaur Sandhu, who holds the title of Miss Universe 2021, crowned R’Bonney Gabriel in the glitzy ceremony hosted at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The new Miss Universe is USA!!! #MISSUNIVERSE pic.twitter.com/7vryvLV92Y
— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) January 15, 2023
R’Bonney Gabriel left everyone amazed with her answer to the question asked in the final round. The question that Gabriel was asked was,
If you win Miss Universe, how would you work to demonstrate this as an empowering and progressive organisation?”
R’Bonney replied to the question and said,
Well, I would use it to be a transformational leader. As a very passionate designer, been serving for 13 years, I use fashion as a force for good. In my industry, I am cutting down on pollution through recycled materials when I make my clothing. I teach sewing classes to women that have survived human trafficking and domestic violence. I say that because it is so important to invest, and 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.”
USA's top 3 answer!
The 71st #MISSUNIVERSE Competition is airing LIVE on @TheRokuChannel! pic.twitter.com/i7Ol0mPGFc
— Miss Universe (@MissUniverse) January 15, 2023
R’Bonney Gabriel designed a dark blue jumpsuit, which reflected the “ups and downs” she experienced after winning Miss USA 2022. Gabriel wore the outfit at Miss Universe 2022 competition’s preliminary interview round.
Reportedly, the process of designing the outfit took almost 50 hours. In an interview, she talked about her self-designed outfit and said,
Thunderstorms are dark, they’re chaotic, and it was just a reflection of my time as Miss USA. These last three months, there were ups and downs. There were many challenges, and I was forced to look for the beauty in darkness.” Insider
Miss USA Rbonney Gabriel wore her own piece to the prelim interview inspired by a thunderstorm that reflects the ups and downs of her experience as Miss USA 🇺🇸 Took her around 50 hours to finish this piece she hand-painted #missuniverse #missuniverse2022 pic.twitter.com/EyuuSdW9NU
— Dyan Castillejo (@DYANCASTILLEJO) January 11, 2023
- Colour: Green
- Sweet: Donuts
- Filipino Dessert: Halo Halo
- Food: Thin-crust pizza
- Quote: If not now, then when?
- According to some sources, Gabriel is a high school volleyball player. She inclined towards fashion after developing an interest in sewing and creating things out of fabrics at the age of 15.
- In an interview, R’Bonney Gabriel revealed that she likes backpacking. CW39 Houston – YouTube
- R’Bonney loves to hula-loop and read during her leisure time.
- According to Gabriel, she used to be a tomboy and through pageantry, she got to bring out the girly side of hers. CW39 Houston – YouTube
- R’Bonney has designed many outfits inspired by different countries including India. In 2020, she shot for the collection in India, where the locals including children were also involved in the shooting.
- R’Bonney Gabriel created history as the oldest winner of the Miss Universe pageant in 2023 after winning the title of Miss Universe 2022; moreover, she is the first Filipino-American to win Miss USA.
- Soon after winning the title of Miss Universe 2022, R’Bonney Gabriel received backlash when several contestants claimed that the competition was rigged. According to some media sources, many contestants walked off the stage instead of staying and congratulating Gabriel on her win. Responding to the claims in an interview, Gabriel denied receiving favouritism at the Miss Universe 2022 competition and said,
I would never enter any pageant or any competition that I know I would win. I have a lot of integrity.” Insider
- Reportedly, R’Bonney Gabriel received comebacks for her outfit for the national costume round at the 71st Miss Universe pageant.
A Twitter user, in response to the outfit, wrote,
You know what’s American? the moon!” The Washington Post
- R’Bonney contributes to social welfare. She teaches sewing and designing to women who survived trafficking and domestic violence and to those who belong to underserved communities; moreover, she is associated with many local shelters and provides sewing classes to those who are inclined towards it.