Miss Universe is an annual international beauty pageant that is run by the Miss Universe Organization. Along with its rival contests, Miss World and Miss Earth, this pageant is one of the most important and publicized beauty pageants in the world. It is held in more than 190 countries worldwide and seen by more than half a billion people annually. The pageant was founded in 1952 by the California-based clothing company Pacific Knitting Mills, and the Miss Universe Organization and the brand is currently owned, along with Miss USA and Miss Teen USA, by WME/IMG. Miss Universe Organization licenses local organizations that wish to select the Miss Universe contestant for their country, and approves the selection method for national delegates. The current Miss Universe logo – “the woman with stars” – was created in 1998
In 2015, after businessman Donald Trump, then co-owner of the pageant, made statements about illegal immigrants from Mexico in his U.S. presidential campaign kickoff speech, NBC decided to end its business relationship with him and stated that it would no longer air the Miss Universe or Miss USA pageants on its networks. In September 2015, Trump bought NBC’s share of the Miss Universe Organization, becoming its sole owner for three days, then sold the entire company to the WME/IMG talent agency.
The current Miss Universe is Iris Mittenaere of France who was crowned on 30 January 2017 in Manila, Philippines.
The title “Miss Universe” was first used by the International Pageant of Pulchritude in 1926. This contest was held annually until 1935, when the Great Depression and other events preceding World War II led to its demise.
The current Miss Universe pageant was founded in 1952 by Pacific Knitting Mills, a California-based clothing company and manufacturer of Catalina Swimwear. The company was the sponsor of the Miss America pageant until 1951, when the winner, Yolande Betbeze, refused to pose for publicity pictures wearing one of their swimsuits. So in 1952 Pacific Knitting Mills organised the Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants, co-sponsoring them for decades to follow.
The first Miss Universe Pageant was held in Long Beach, California in 1952. It was won by Armi Kuusela from Finland, who gave up her title, though not officially, to get married, shortly before her year was completed. Until 1958, the Miss Universe title, like that of Miss America, was dated by the year following the contest, so at the time Ms. Kuusela’s title was Miss Universe 1953.
Since its founding by Pacific Mills, the pageant has been organized and conducted by the Miss Universe Organization. Eventually Pacific Mills and its subsidiaries were acquired by the Kayser-Roth Corporation, which was in turn acquired by Gulf and Western Industries.
The pageant was first televised in 1955. CBS began broadcasting the combined Miss USA and Miss Universe pageants in 1960, and as separate contests in 1965. John Charles Daly hosted the pageant from 1955 to 1966, Bob Barker from 1967 to 1987, Alan Thicke in 1988, John Forsythe in 1989, Dick Clark from 1990 to 1993, and Bob Goen from 1994 to 1996.
Donald Trump bought the operating company, Miss Universe, Inc., in 1996 from ITT Corp. Trump struck a broadcasting arrangement with CBS for a few years. In 1998, Miss Universe, Inc. changed its name to Miss Universe Organization, and moved its headquarters from Los Angeles to New York City. In 2002 Trump entered into a joint venture with NBC, which in 2003 outbid the other networks for the TV rights. From 2003 to 2014, the pageant was broadcast in the US on NBC.
NBC and Univision dropped the pageant in September 2015 when NBC cancelled all business relationships with the Miss Universe Organization and with Trump in response to his political comments in June 2015 about illegal immigration during his campaign for the presidency of the United States. As part of the legal settlement, in September 2015, Trump bought out NBC’s 50% stake in the company making him the company’s sole owner. Three days later he sold the whole company to WME/IMG. Following the change of ownership, in October 2015, Fox and Azteca became the official broadcaster of the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants. The current president of the Miss Universe Organization is Paula Shugart.
Since 2014, Paulina Vega, Pia Wurtzbach, and Iris Mittenaere were decorated with a crown estimated to be worth US$300,000, produced in the workshop of Czech company DIC – Diamonds International Corporation. The whole production process, from the first sketches to the production itself, took approximately four months. The shape of the crown is reminiscent of Manhattan skyline. Its production required the work of 10 people and the crown is made up of 311 pcs of diamonds, 5 pieces of blue topaz, 198 pieces of blue sapphire, 33 pieces of crystal and 220 grams of gold. Total weight of the crown is 411 g.
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Iris Mittenaere won the Miss universe title in Manali Philippines on 30 Jan 2017
See videos and live Web Cast of event here and read more about her