Making History as the First Filipino-American to Win Miss USA, Miss Texas R’Bonney Gabriel

Monday saw the Miss USA crowning of R’Bonney Gabriel at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada.

We’ve got a winner!

At the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nevada, Miss Texas R’Bonney Gabriel, Miss North Carolina Morgan Romano, and Miss Nebraska Natalie Pieper competed for the title of Miss USA 2022.

First Filipino-American to win the competition, Gabriel, 28, will represent the United States at the 2017 Miss Universe pageant, which will be held on January 23 at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

After winning, Gabriel told Houston Life, “Oh my God, it’s an honour.” I frequently receive social media messages from Filipina ladies and girls telling me how delighted and excited they are.

She continued, “They’re sobbing tears of joy because they are motivated to pursue pageantry or something.” “Like I’m clearing the way for them to pursue whatever it is that they desire. So it’s a privilege.”

Elle Smith, a former Miss Kentucky who has crowned Miss USA in 2021, is replaced by Gabriel. During the ceremony on Monday, Smith, 23, was proclaimed the winner, officially handing over the title she had won the previous year.

Before the presentation, Smith wrote on social media, “Class of 2021, I hope I made you proud,” adding that earning the title was “the moment that altered my life forever.”

Gabriel was the first Asian American to win the Miss Texas USA title in December 2021. The Houston resident told ABC News on October 3 that she felt a “huge duty” to recognize her ethnic history while standing up for the Lone Star State in the hopes that it would inspire others to do the same.

“On a college scholarship and with just $20 in his pocket, my father immigrated to the United States from the Philippines. He desired to create a fresh start for himself. He met my mother, a rural resident of Beaumont, in Texas “Gabriel spoke with the Houston-based affiliate of ABC News. “I’m a very proud Texan Filipina.”

Making History as the First Filipino-American to Win Miss USA, Miss Texas R'Bonney Gabriel

According to its website, the model and designer owns and operates the clothing line R’Bonney Nola, which employs sustainable design practices and a combination of natural or reused textiles in all of its garments.

According to the website, “the clothes are deliberately made with experimental textures, embroideries, and one-of-a-kind handwork to limit the amount of textile waste produced by each piece.” “Fashion can be more environmentally friendly by reusing more materials and lowering the amount of fabric waste produced throughout the production process.”

Gabriel also teaches sewing at the Houston-based nonprofit Magpies and Peacocks, which reuses post-consumer apparel and other materials to make sustainable garments instead of throwing them in the trash.

After Gabriel’s victory, Magpies and Peacocks wrote on social media, “OMG, we are beyond pleased that our very own R’Bonney Nola has won Miss USA 2022!” “This wonderful young girl is so deserving of this crown and we are beyond thrilled to have her as a member of our sustainable fashion tribe. She is one of the sweetest, kindest, and most generous people we know. Our queen with a golden heart. #magpiesandpeacocks”