Miss Universe 2023 R’Bonney Gabriel Gives Special Needs Model Advice

Miss Universe 2023 R’Bonney Gabriel shares runway tips with a special model who’s also a fellow Fil-Am!

Even before Filipino-American R’Bonney Gabriel was crowned Miss Universe earlier this year, she was already all about fashion. In fact, as a designer, she pushed sustainability and championed Fashion For Good!

It comes as no surprise then that she had a lot to share with 12-year-old Alessandra Frazzetta, who’s walking at New York Fashion Week this spring. Like the reigning Miss Universe, Alessandra is also Filipino-American.

R’Bonney Gabriel gives special advice

When the pre-teen met Miss Universe 2023 R’Bonney Gabriel, the latter gives her key advice about her runway walk. “When I go out on stage, I just tell myself I’m the most amazing beautiful girl,” Gabriel tells Frazzetta. “[I] can do it. Just put one foot in front of the other … have that fierceness.”

Gabriel also brought up the importance of making little sacrifices while working to reach a dream. “When you want something that’s so big, you have to really cut aside a lot of distractions and things that take up your mind physically and mentally so I always just try to focus,” she shares with her. In the beauty queen titleholder’s case, she had to give up ensaymada (her all-time favorite pastry) while chasing the title of Miss Universe.

She also puts emphasis on the importance of embracing heritage. In Miss Universe 2023’s case, being ‘R’Bonney Gabriel the Filipino-American’ wasn’t always a front-and-center part of her life.

READ: Celeste Cortesi Fails To Enter Top 16 In Miss Universe 2022

“To be a Fil-Am is a unique and beautiful thing and definitely lean into that and embrace that,” she tells Frazzetta. “I didn’t embrace it as much as I did now … when I eliminated that self doubt and had people in my world that really believed me and pushed me to achieve more than I ever imagined, it changed the world for me.”

Alessandra Frazzetta is special in more ways than one: despite her down syndrome, she graduated from the nearly-100-year-old Barbizon Modeling & Acting Studio of NYC. She’s currently pursuing a modeling career in the city and intends to complete in the International Modeling and Talent Association’s showcase later this year.

Banner Image Paulo Correa

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