Miss Texas, R’Bonney Gabriel, made history this week as the first Filipina American to be chosen as Miss USA, and wore a dress she designed to celebrate her culture.
The 28-year-old fashion designer from San Antonio will represent the United States at the Miss Universe competition in January. Gabriel stated that she created her clothing to honor her roots and parents.
She posted on Instagram, “My mom is from Beaumont, Texas and my dad is from the Philippines.” She also goes on to say, “They got married in Manila, Philippines. I hand painted the same flower design from my mothers wedding dress onto my sleeves and tied it 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.”
Gabriel’s victory falls during Filipino American History Month.