|Date of Birth
||June 1, 1986
|Place of Birth
||Miss Universe 2008
Dayana Sabrina Mendoza Moncada (born June 1, 1986 in Caracas, Venezuela) is a model, Miss Venezuela 2007, and Miss Universe 2008.
In 2001, Mendoza signed with Elite Model Management and modeled in Italy, France, United States, England, Greece, Spain, Germany, Mexico and Peru for Versace, Roberto Cavalli and other fashion designers. She speaks Spanish, English, and Italian.
Dayana beat 27 other candidates to win Miss Venezuela 2007 on September 13, 2007, and became only the second woman representing the Amazonas state to win (the first being Carolina Izsak in 1991). She was crowned Miss Universe 2008 at the pageant in Nha Trang, Vietnam on July 13, 2008. Miss Universe 2007 Riyo Mori crowned her with a tiara worth 120,000 U.S. dollars. Her prize package included cash, a year contract promoting Miss Universe, world travel, a rent-free, prestigious New York City flat, luxury apartment and a gift bag stuffed with designer shoes, dresses and beauty products, a $100,000 stipend for a 2-year course at the New York Film Academy and free access to famous fashion houses and beauty parlors. Mendoza will spend her year-long reign traveling the world to lecture on humanitarian issues and to promote education regarding HIV/AIDS.
Mendoza has stated that she enjoys "design, photography, advertising and wave surfing." She was once kidnapped in Venezuela, and stated the trauma taught her to remain poised under pressure.
Venezuela is a "pageant superpower" and has had four previous Miss Universe and five Miss World winners. Mendoza is the first winner from the country since Miss Universe 1996's winner Alicia Machado.