The Filipino-American queen designed most of her outfits during her pageant run.
Newly crowned Miss Universe 2023 R’Bonney Gabriel may be representing the USA, but she’s honored her Filipino heritage in a lot of ways during the competition and her days pre-MU.
Born to a Filipino father and American mother in Texas, the beauty queen is pretty much like your favorite fashion designer on the FYP who reworks clothes, is the girl boss of her small business, and is big on sustainability. Taking things further, R’Bonney Gabriel has been using her platform for a greater cause: she teaches sewing to survivors of trafficking and domestic violence to help with their healing process. (Fun fact: she previously had an eco-conscious collection called Babae Tribe.)
More than once, she’s used her passion on a grander scale, to the point where R’Bonney herself even made her own outfits as documented on her Instagram account. Below, we’ve rounded up all the times she stitched her story one creation at a time not only during the preparations, but also during the Miss Universe competition.
WHEN R’BONNEY HAND-MADE HER CAPE OUT OF RECYCLED PLASTIC DURING THE SWIMSUIT ROUND
She recycled pieces of plastic, sculpted them with a lit candle, hand-dyed her cape, and patched them all together. Her concept was inspired by a phoenix rising and boy did she command that stage at the preliminaries.
WHEN SHE UPCYCLED AN OLD JUMPSUIT FOR HER MISS UNIVERSE REHEARSAL LOOK
“Instead of buying another outfit, I made something new with a jumpsuit I already had,” R’Bonney shares when she showed fans her Miss Universe rehearsal outfit.
R’BONNEY’S JUMPSUIT ON HER FIRST INTERVIEW AS MISS UNIVERSE WAS HER CREATION
In a blue jumpsuit reminiscent of Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach’s winning color, R’Bonney Gabriel wears her own design on her first interview as the queen.
SHE HAND-PAINTED HER OUTFIT DURING ONE OF HER PRE-COMPETITION INTERVIEWS
Entitled Beautiful Storm, R’Bonney Gabriel filmed the process behind her jumpsuit where she hand-painted, draped, and sewed it.
SHE WORE HER OWN DESIGN AT THE MISS UNIVERSE WELCOME EVENT
Yup, you read it right. R’Bonney wore this beautifully-designed black dress with a white dramatic cape during the Miss Universe welcome event.
SHE CONCEPTUALIZED AND SKETCHED HER FUTURISTIC OUTFIT FOR HER MISS UNIVERSE PROMO SHOOT
R’Bonney tapped another designer named CHAR to bring her sketch of a futuristic look to life.
SHE REWORKED AN OLD SWEATER SHE WORE TO FILIPINO-AMERICAN HERITAGE NIGHT
She’s a streetwear girl, too! R’Bonney reworked an old hoodie and made them into a cropped hoodie and a matching belt bag.
WHEN SHE HAND-PAINTED AND CONSTRUCTED A MODERN FILIPINIANA FOR A MISS USA INTERVIEW
Showing the meticulous process of hand-painting and creating a modern Filipiniana, R’Bonney looked how Maria Clara in 2023 would’ve dressed like. “This outfit I designed with my parents in mind-tying in the flower patterns from my moms wedding dress and a Filipina traditional Maria Clara collar shape,” she shares on her Instagram.
ON HER FIRST DAY AS MISS USA, SHE REWORKED AN OLD OVERSIZED PANTSUIT AND TURNED IT INTO A COOL SUIT
The new Miss Universe’s creativity knows no bounds. On her first day as Miss USA, she wore a cropped blazer and biker shorts made from an old pantsuit. We stan.
CONTINUE READING: 10 Historic Moments At Miss Universe 2022 That Made It Unforgettable