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Every Winner in Miss Universe History From the Past 70 Years  – WWD

Please schedule for Nov. 18 at 12:00 AM.

The 72nd Miss Universe pageant will be held in San Salvador on Nov. 18, when current Miss Universe R’Bonney Gabriel will crown her successor.

Former Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo and stylist Jeannie Mai will host the competition with Maria Menounos, marking the first time the pageant has an exclusively women hosting team. The 72nd Miss Universe will be streamed at 8 p.m. ET in English on The Roku Channel and in Spanish by Telemundo.

Established in 1952, the Miss Universe pageant was created to promote Catalina Swimwear, which used to be called Pacific Knitting Mills. In 1951, the winner of Miss America Yolanda Betbeze refused to model a bathing suit for Catalina Swimwear, so the company decided to start its own pageant.

Catalina Swimwear also created the Miss USA pageant, considered a preliminary phase of the Miss Universe. Jackie Loughery of New York won the first Miss USA competition in 1952, while the title of first Miss Universe in history went to Armi Kuusela of Finland that same year.

The Difference Between Miss Universe and Miss World

The main difference between Miss Universe and Miss World is the organizations behind them. Miss World was created in 1951 by Eric Morley, also known as Mr. World. Currently, Miss World is organized by his widow, Julia Morley.

Both competitions also differ when it comes to pageant segments. Miss Universe is known for featuring a judges’ interview phase, a national costume runway, a swimsuit competition, evening gown runway and a final Q&A round. Miss World features additional segments, including a social media challenge, talent and sports.

Miss Universe is considered popular in Latin America, the United States, Canada and the Philippines. Created in the U.K., Miss World is better known in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Miss Universe requirements

To enter the Miss Universe competition, contestants must be at least 18 and under 28 years of age when the National competition commenced. However, starting in 2024, contestants will have no upper age restriction.

Contestants must be a citizen of the country they are representing.

As of 2023, the Miss Universe Organization allows mothers, married or pregnant women to compete in the pageant.

Contestants are allowed to have tattoos. Miss Spain 2014 Desire Cordero was the first Miss Universe contestant to expose a tattoo on stage.

Contestants are allowed to have plastic and cosmetic surgery.

How Miss Universe is selected

The competition begins with preliminary interviews, including a swimsuit or athletic wear and evening gown presentation. After that, semifinalists are announced during the live show. The contestants must walk the runway during the swimsuit or athletic wear segment.

The second phase of the live shows brings the semifinalists walking the runway in evening gowns so judges can see their personal style. According to the Miss Universe website, the dress design does not count toward the total score of each contestant.

After the evening gown segment, a top six is revealed, and they must face the final question round. Each contestant selects a judge who presents a question focused on social, cultural and political topics. All scores are averaged and the top three contestants move on to the Final Look phase, which helps the judges decide the winner.

Who owns the Miss Universe?

The Kayser-Roth Corporation acquired the Miss Universe Organization and other Pacific Mills subsidiaries in 1958 and then sold to the Gulf and Western Industries in 1967. In 1989, Gulf and Western changed its name to Paramount Communications. In 1994, Viacom purchased majority ownership of Paramount. Two years later, Viacom sold part of its assets to Cablevision and ITT Corporation. In 1995, Donald Trump purchased the Miss Universe Organization from ITT Corp.

In 2015, Trump was pressured to sell the Miss Universe after making controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants during his presidential campaign. Talent agency WME/IMG then acquired the pageant. In October 2022, Thai transgender entrepreneur Anne Jakrajutatip purchased the Miss Universe Organization from IMG.

Miss Universe swimsuits

The Miss Universe Organization revealed its first collaborative merchandise line on Nov. 9. The collection will feature swimsuits that will also be seen onstage during the 72nd Miss Universe competition. Produced under the name Miss Universe by Rubin Singer, the swimwear offering will be available on Wednesday for preorder on missuniverse.com.

Swimsuits have always been part of the Miss Universe competition. However, in 1973, contestants weren’t allowed to wear their swimsuits inside the Odeon of Herod Atticus Theater in Athens, Greece, where the pageant was held, because the place was considered a sacred religious theater. Instead, the swimsuit pageant was organized as a preliminary outside the theater.

Evening gowns

Clarisse Designs was named the official sponsor for the 72nd Miss Universe pageant. The evening gown brand will provide dresses to be worn by all delegates for the opening numbers of the preliminary and final competitions.

Over the years, the Miss Universe Organization has partnered with multiple fashion brands, including Sherri Hill Fashions, Shein, Chinese Laundry and Liva.

Miss Universe crown

In 2019, the Lebanese jewelry company Mouawad became the official jeweler for the Miss Universe Organization. Mouawad designed the Force for Good crown currently being worn by Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel. The crown is encrusted with diamonds and sapphires with 993 stones.

Japanese artisan Tomohiro Yamaji of Mikimoto designed the crowns worn from 2002 to 2007 and 2017 to 2018.

American Miss Universe winners

Miss USA 1954 Miriam Stevenson is remembered as the first American to win the Miss Universe title and the only one who received a tied final score — she disputed the crown with Martha Rocha of Brazil. Both faced a last decisive round in the competition, and Stevenson ended up securing the title due to having a “better physique” for what Catalina Swimwear was looking for.

Here’s the complete list:

  • Miss Universe 1954 Miriam Stevenson
  • Miss Universe 1956 Carol Morris
  • Miss Universe 1960 Linda Bement
  • Miss Universe 1967 Sylvia Hitchcock
  • Miss Universe 1980 Shawn Weatherly
  • Miss Universe 1995 Chelsi Smith
  • Miss Universe 1997 Brooke Lee
  • Miss Universe 2012 Olivia Culpo
  • Miss Universe 2022 R’Bonney Gabriel

Every winner in the Miss Universe history:

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