R’Bonney Gabriel Brings ‘Mermaid Energy’ In Sparkling Sandals for Miss Universe Pageant 2023

The reigning Miss Universe, R’Bonney Gabriel of Texas, brought all the drama during the 72nd Miss Universe pageant held on Saturday at Gimnasio Nacional José Adolfo Pineda in San Salvador, El Salvador. Gabriel was crowned Miss Universe in 2022 and tonight she will hand over her crown to her successor.

In a post made to Miss Universe’s official Instagram, Gabriel posed for a photo backstage at the pageant. The Texan was outfitted in a pair of sparkling strappy sandal heels that appeared to be in a deep blue hue. Jojo Bragais is the footwear sponsor of tonight’s event.

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Gabriel’s footwear featured shiny uppers accompanied by thin but sturdy straps that kept the heels in place. Stilettos likely finished off the dazzling set.

Giving mermaid vibes, Gabriel wore a scaly blue and purple gown that sat off-the-shoulders. The garment featured a scaly texture and a molded metallic blue armor-esque plate across the midsection in the shape of an abdomen. The scaly structural hips of the gown jutted out from under the blue armor, creating dimension. Finishing off her look, Gabriel wore a variety of diamond-encrusted jewelry accompanied by her show-stopping Miss Universe crown.

Gabriel was previously announced as the winner of Miss Universe 2022, followed by finalists Miss Venezuela Amanda Dudamel, Miss Puerto Rico Ashley Carino, Miss Curacao Gabriëla Dos Santos and Miss Dominican Republic Andreína Martínez. Gabriel is the pageant’s first Filipino-American winner. She was born to a Filipino father, Remigio Bonzon “R. Bon” Gabriel, and an American mother Dana Walker.

Miss Universe is a pageant held annually by the Miss Universe Organization, which celebrates women’s accomplishments across the world. This year’s event will be held in El Salvador, featuring 86 contestants from international countries. The occasion includes John Legend as this year’s musical performance, which will take place before the current Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel crowns her successor.

About the Author

Amina Ayoud is an Assistant Digital Editor for Footwear News, where she writes stories about everything from celebrity style to breaking fashion and shoe releases. Ayoud cultivated a love of all things fashion early in life thanks to a deep love of fashion history and the luxury industry. In her free time, Ayoud is a self-proclaimed fashion nerd and thriftaholic.


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