Posted on: January 21, 2023 Posted by: Dr. Courtney A Hammonds Comments: 0

Well, we’ve closed another year—in terms of the Miss Universe pageant, that is. The coronation night concluded on Saturday, January 14, U.S. time, in New Orleans, with Miss USA R’Bonney Gabriel earning the title of 71st Miss Universe. The 28-year-old Filipino American delegate succeeds Harnaaz Sandhu of India. Venezuela’s Amanda Dudamel and Dominican Republic’s Andreína Martínez Founier-Rosado follow the new Miss Universe as runner-up and second runner-up, respectively.

Venezuela’s Amanda Dudamel Dominican Republic’s Andreína Martínez Founier-Rosado and Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel courtesy of Miss Universe

My experience as an approved media for the Miss Universe pageant was a once in a lifetime opportunity. I had the privilege to cover all of the events surrounding it and meet some amazing people along the way. Additionally, I learned a lot that I’m excited to share with you!

Upscales fashion editor, Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds


Get the highlights of this year’s pageant below, including my recap of the pageant:

After each competition, which featured categories such as interviews, evening gown, swimwear, and community impact, she was crowned by the 70th Miss Universe, Harnaaz Sandhu.

The Final 16 Contestants Were Named: The 16 finalists were announced, and they came from countries such as India, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Laos, Australia, Haiti, South Africa, Portugal, Canada, Peru, Trinidad & Tobago, Colombia, the United States, Spain, and Venezuela.

Top Five

When was Miss Universe? The 71st Miss Universe competition took place on Saturday, January 14, 2023.

Olivia Culpo and Jeannie Mai Jenkins Creator: Jason Kempin | Credit: Getty Images

Who were the co-hosts of Miss Universe? Olivia Culpo and Jeannie Mai Jenkins hosted the Miss Universe pageant live from New Orleans.

Who were the judges for the Miss Universe competition? The judging panel was comprised of Ximena Navarrete, Big Freedia, Mara Martin, Wendy Fitzwilliam, Emily Austin, Olivia Quido, Myrka Dellanos, Sweta Patel, Kathleen Ventrella and Olivia Jordan.

Miss St. Lucia Sheris Paul

Saint Lucia contestant Sheris Paul’s costume

In the national costume round leading up to the final event, Saint Lucia’s Sheris Paul radiated in a swarm of global beauties at the Miss Universe pageant. She presented the national bird, the Jacquot, the Amazona Versicolor, and one of the national flowers the Marguerite. Sheris walked away from the competition without a crown, but she gave her country one heck of a run at this event.


Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel courtesy of Miss Universe

Meet the new Miss Universe 2022, R’Bonney Gabriel

Gabriel is known for her passion of environmental sustainability in the fashion industry. Her biography on the Miss Universe website states she was a high school volleyball player, who pivoted to fashion and quickly fell in love with constructing designs with fabrics and textiles at the age of 15. She earned a bachelor’s degree in fashion design from the University of North Texas in 2018.

Currently, she works as the lead sewing instructor at Magpies and Peacocks in the EaDo district, teaching sewing classes to survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking. The nonprofit design house is dedicated to using “fashion as a force for good” through sustainability and community impact.

After a whirlwind four days, all I can say is that the pageant world should take note. undoubtedly serves as a launching pad to advocate for a future forged by women with courage to push the limits of what’s possible, who are curious in the discovery, and possessing the audacity to do it again. We know how important it is to reach gender equity for the good of all people.

Can’t wait until next year’s festivities!

Yours in fashion,
Dr. Courtney A. Hammonds