Mumbai: It took India 21 years and a petite young girl in a stunning sequinned mermaid-fall gown, making her look every bit of a queen, to bring home the coveted title of Miss Universe!
The 21-year-old lass from Chandigarh made it to the most sought-after pageant after winning coveted titles like Miss Chandigarh 2017, Miss Max Emerging Star India 2018, Femina Miss India Punjab 2019 and being one of the 12 finalists at Femina Miss India.
Harnaaz’s nude gown, which she wore for the finale, was designed by Saisha Shinde, a transwoman. The sleeveless dress featured a figure-skimming silhouette, thigh-high slit, mermaid-style fall, plunging V neckline, silver embellishments and a sheer panel extending up to her waist, complete with silver tassel adorning the skirt.
Born and raised in Punjab, Harnaaz attended Shivalik Public School and Post Graduate Government College for Girls, both in Chandigarh. The diva is currently pursuing her Masters’ degree in Public Administration.
Now, Miss Universe 2021 will reside in New York and participate in a number of events globally.
She was crowned by her predecessor Andrea Meza of Mexico, who won the pageant in 2020. “I am immensely grateful to the Almighty, my parents, and the Miss India Organization for guiding and supporting me throughout. Loads of love to everyone who prayed and wished the crown for me,” Sandhu said at the event, which is in its 70th year of inception, held at Eilat, Israel.
Harnaaz Sandhu is only the third Indian to have won the title of Miss Universe – actors Sushmita Sen in 1994 and Lara Dutta in 2000 won the pageant before her.