Texas fashion designer wins Miss USA, will compete in Miss Universe next year

R’Bonney Gabriel, from Houston, is the first Filipino American woman to be crowned Miss USA

Miss Texas USA R’Bonney Gabriel (Miss Texas USA)

A Houston fashion designer who was the first Asian American woman to be crowned Miss Texas USA this summer has a newer, bigger title.

R’Bonney Gabriel, from Houston, won Miss USA on Monday. She will represent the U.S. when she competes for Miss Universe in January.

Gabriel made history in July when she became the first Asian American woman to win the statewide competition, according to KPRC, KSAT’s sister station in Houston.

She’s now the first Asian American woman from the Lone Star State to be crowned Miss USA, and the first Filipino American to win the pageant.

For the pageant in Reno, Nevada, Gabriel made her own interview outfit that was inspired by her Filipina roots.

“I hand painted the same flower design from my mothers wedding dress onto my sleeves and tied in a traditional Maria Clara Filipina collar shape. I have immense gratitude for the (opportunities) my parents provided me and wanted to express my love to them through this,” she wrote on Instagram.

She added that her father is from the Philippines and her mother is from Beaumont. They got married in Manila, the capital of the Phillippines, she said.

She previously told ABC News that her father moved to the U.S. on a college scholarship, with $20 in his pocket.

KPRC reported that she creates eco-conscious clothing with her brand “R’BONNEY NOLA” and teaches sewing at Magpies & Peacocks, Inc., a nonprofit organization.

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About the Author:

Rebecca Salinas joined KSAT in the fall of 2019. Her skills include content management, engagement and reporting.