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Photos show how the winning gowns from the Miss Universe pageant have changed through the years

Summary List PlacementFOLLOW US: Insider is on Facebook Armi Kuusela was crowned the first Miss Universe in 1952. Wearing a classic bathing suit from the '50s, Armi Kuusela of Finland was crowned the first-ever Miss Universe.  Christiane Martel represented France at the 1953 Miss Universe pageant. Christiane Martel accepted her crown in a strapless swimsuit.  Miriam Stevenson was the first Miss USA to become Miss Universe. Miriam Stevenson donned a halter top swimsuit with crystals when she was crowned.   Hillevi Rombin represented Sweden in the 1955 Miss Universe pageant. If you look closely at Hillevi Rombin's swimsuit top, you'll notice the pearl detail that matches the Miss Universe crown...

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Armi Kuusela was crowned the first Miss Universe in 1952.

Wearing a classic bathing suit from the ’50s, Armi Kuusela of Finland was crowned the first-ever Miss Universe. 

Christiane Martel represented France at the 1953 Miss Universe pageant.

Christiane Martel accepted her crown in a strapless swimsuit. 

Miriam Stevenson was the first Miss USA to become Miss Universe.

Miriam Stevenson donned a halter top swimsuit with crystals when she was crowned.  

Hillevi Rombin represented Sweden in the 1955 Miss Universe pageant.

If you look closely at Hillevi Rombin’s swimsuit top, you’ll notice the pearl detail that matches the Miss Universe crown and scepter perfectly. 

Gladys Zender of Peru became the first Latin American woman to win Miss Universe in 1957.

The cascading pearls on Gladys Zender’s swimsuit top help draw your eye.

Luz Zuluaga, who won in 1958, was the only Colombian to win Miss Universe until 2014.

Luz Zuluaga’s V-neck swimsuit was a welcome change from the sweetheart neckline of past winners. 

Akiko Kojima was the first Japanese woman to win the Miss Universe competition in 1959.

Akiko Kojima’s blue one-piece is an unexpected pop of color and stands out against the red coronation robe. 

Linda Bement was crowned Miss Universe in 1960.

The one-shoulder chiffon dress makes Linda Bement look like she’s ready for a ball.

Iêda Maria Vargas was the first Brazilian to be crowned Miss Universe in 1963.

Iêda Maria Vargas took the crown wearing a gorgeous sky-blue gown with sewn crystals all over, and a chiffon sleeve made to blow in the wind while she walks on stage.

Corinna Tsopei of Greece paid tribute to the country’s flag with the colors of her winning gown.

Besides the eye-catching blue color, Corinna Tsopei’s gown features bedazzled frills hanging off her shoulders, which match the bling of her crown and scepter.

Apasra Hongsakula represented Thailand in the 1965 Miss Universe pageant.

Bling is the first word that comes to mind after seeing Apasra Hongsakula’s winning gown. 

Margreta Arvidsson was the second Swedish woman to win the Miss Universe crown in 1966.

Margreta Arvidsson wore a pink strapless gown to accept her crown. If you look closely, you’ll see the hem detail also matches the outline of the scepter. 

Sylvia Hitchcock represented the US at the 1967 Miss Universe competition.

Sylvia Hitchcock’s white gown with the one-shoulder strap going across her chest is unexpected but adds just the right amount of edge.

Martha Vasconcellos brought the drama with her gown at the Miss Universe pageant in 1968.

The silver tiers of Martha Vasconcellos’s blue dress resemble tinsel. 

Kerry Anne Wells went for a muted, flowy dress at the 1972 Miss Universe competition.

Kerry Anne Wells’ dress was made for flowing in the wind as she walked down the stage with her Miss Universe crown on.

Margarita Moran was the epitome of elegance in this gown at the Miss Universe pageant in 1973.

Margarita Moran’s long gown included a cape-like shoulder detail, high neckline, and minimal embellishments throughout. 

Shawn Weatherly stole the show with this beaded gown in 1980.

The amount of detail in this dress is stunning. The beaded stripes are a great contrast to the crystals hanging from the cuffs. 

Irene Sáez brought the drama with her gown at the 1981 Miss Universe pageant.

Irene Sáez brought the drama with her gorgeous pink gown. The flower sleeves with crystal stripes running down are mesmerizing. 

Karen Baldwin was the first Canadian to win the Miss Universe competition in 1982.

Unlike previous winners, Karen Baldwin went for a black gown with a bedazzled bodice detail. 

Yvonne Ryding’s dress at the 1984 Miss Universe pageant looks simple at first glance.

Yvonne Ryding gave the audience a prairie-chic look in this white long-sleeve gown featuring flower embroidery throughout.

Deborah Carthy-Deu was the second Miss Puerto Rico to win the Miss Universe competition in 1985.

The gold stripes of Deborah Carthy-Deu’s gown balance out with the thicker gold sequins running down the front.

Angela Visser represented Holland at the 1989 Miss Universe competition.

Angela Visser glowed in this floor-length evening gown made with gold, silver, and white sequined scales. 

Mona Grudt was the first Norwegian to win the title of Miss Universe in 1990.

Although Mona Grudt went with a classic white gown, it’s the dramatic flair of the skirt that makes it statement-worthy.

Lupita Jones was the first Mexican woman to win the title of Miss Universe in 1991.

Lupita Jones brought the flair in this beaded off-the-shoulder red gown. 

Dayanara Torres, who was crowned Miss Universe in 1993, was wearing the thigh-high slit years before it became a trend.

The thigh-high slit of Dayanara Torres’ floor-length white gown adds an unexpected sexy element.

After winning the 1994 Miss Universe competition, Sushmita Sen went on to pursue a career in Bollywood.

The beading of Sushmita Sen’s dress is dazzling, and the sleeves are actually beaded flowers in the same gold color of the gown. 

Chelsi Smith was the first Miss USA to be crowned Miss Universe in 15 years.

Chelsi Smith looked regal in this sweetheart chiffon gown. The matching scarf and red lipstick completed the look. 

After winning Miss Universe 1996, Alicia Machado pursued acting and appeared on various reality competition shows.

Alicia Machado’s mint dress with silver spikes throughout was edgy. 

After winning Miss Universe 1997, Brook Lee went on to host TV shows in Asia and the United States.

The sparkly halter, beaded waistband, and thigh-high slit design elements of Brook Lee’s dress all work together seamlessly. 

Wendy Fitzwilliam made history at the 1998 Miss Universe pageant as the first contestant to win wearing a bikini in the swimsuit competition.

Wendy Fitzwilliam’s statement earrings balance well with the beaded work on her gown.

Mpule Kwelagobe, who was crowned in 1999, was the first-ever Miss Universe winner from Botswana.

Having a simple, flowy skirt makes the sparkly off-the-shoulder top of Mpule Kwelagobe’s gown stand out. 

No one from India has won since Lara Dutta took the Miss Universe crown in 2000.

Lara Dutta brought the festive vibes with this sparkly red gown.

Denise Quiñones won the Miss Universe title in 2001.

Denise Quiñones’ white halter gown with different colored beads throughout matches the mesmerizing crystals on the Miss Universe crown.

Justine Pasek was crowned Miss Universe in 2002.

Like other Miss Universe winners in the past, Justine Pasek went with a white gown. The simple silhouette makes her look like Cinderella. 

Amelia Vega was the first person from the Dominican Republic to win the Miss Universe title in 2003.

Amelia Vega took the traditional white gown a step further with the crystal-embellished sleeves and shoulder straps. 

Jennifer Hawkins looked like a walking gold statue at the 2004 Miss Universe competition.

Jennifer Hawkins stunned judges when she appeared on stage in a textured gold dress with flower details everywhere, and a sparkling bracelet and necklace to match.

Natalie Glebova was only the second Canadian to hold the Miss Universe title.

For the 2005 Miss Universe competition, Natalie Glebova kept it sexy in a low-cut white gown that also featured a thigh-high slit. 

Zuleyka Rivera wore one of the most daring gowns of the 2006 Miss Universe competition.

With a low-cut top, a high slit in the front, and dazzling beaded work, it’s clear that Zuleyka Rivera was ready to win in this gown. 

Riyo Mori was the second Japanese woman to be crowned Miss Universe in 2007.

For her winning gown, Riyo Mori wore a kimono-inspired black and floral evening gown from the Spring/Summer 2007 Gucci collection. 

Dayana Mendoza was crowned Miss Venezuela 2008 before winning Miss Universe.

For her crowning moment, Dayana Mendoza wore a strapless yellow gown covered in beads. The thigh-high slit and turquoise statement earrings add to the drama of the look. 

Stefania Fernandez’s 2009 Miss Universe win was a milestone since it was the first time a country won back-to-back crowns.

Unlike her predecessor, Dayana Mendoza, Stefania Fernandez went with a more extravagant look, wearing a red floor-length gown. 

After her Miss Universe win in 2010, Ximena Navarrete went on to star in Spanish soap operas.

Ximena Navarrete accepted her Miss Universe crown wearing a flowy, floor-length red gown. What you can’t see under the sash is the one-shoulder strap adorned with red beads, and the slit underneath her skirt. 

Leila Lopes made history as the first woman from Angola to win the Miss Universe pageant in 2011.

Leila Lopes wowed the audience when she wore a sleeveless white gown covered in white, silver, and blue beads, as well as feathers. 

After being crowned Miss USA, Olivia Culpo went on to win the title of Miss Universe in 2012.

For her crowning moment, Olivia Culpo wore a red dress with long velvet sleeves and a plunging neckline.

When Gabriela Isler was crowned Miss Universe 2013, she made history as the seventh woman from Venezuela to win.

Gabriela Isler stepped onto the stage in a long-sleeve silver gown embellished with crystals and a striped pattern that looks similar to Jennifer Lopez’s 2012 Zuhair Murad dress

Paulina Vega won the title of Miss Universe in 2014.

The silver beaded and striped detail adds to the elegance of Vega’s winning gown. 

Pia Wurtzbach was the third woman from the Philippines to win the Miss Universe title in 2015.

Pia Wurtzbach’s royal-blue gown matched the Miss Universe crown. 

When Iris Mittenaere won in 2016, she was the first Miss France to do so in 63 years.

Iris Mittenaere took home the Miss Universe crown in a long-sleeve sparkling gold gown with geometric details.

Demi Nel-Peters is the second Miss Universe winner from South Africa.

Demi Nel-Peters dazzled in this flesh-colored dress stitched with silver crystals in a geometrical pattern. 

Catriona Gray was crowned Miss Universe in 2018.

Catriona Gray wore a striking red dress that featured a plunging asymmetrical neckline and thigh-high slit. 

Zozibini Tunzi represented South Africa at the 2019 Miss Universe competition.

Zozibini Tunzi’s silver, gold, and blue sequined evening gown stood out on the Miss Universe stage. The draped sleeves and high neckline balance out the thigh-high slit and peekabo detail across the chest perfectly.

Andrea Meza was only the third Miss Mexico to be crowned Miss Universe.

Like many others, Meza wore a sparkly gown when she was crowned Miss Universe.

The gown had a high neckline and a dramatic cutout on the bodice, as well as tiers of tassles on the skirt and a removable cape.

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