Iris Mittenaere (born 25 January 1993) is a French model and beauty pageant titleholder who was crowned Miss Universe 2016 in Pasay, Philippines. She is the second Miss Universe from France after Christiane Martel, who was elected Miss Universe 1953. She previously won Miss France 2016.
Early life and education
Mittenaere was born on 25 January 1993 in Lille, to Yves Mittenaere, a professor of history and geography, and Laurence Druart, a schoolteacher, and lecturer. She has a brother, sister, and half-sister. Her parents separated when she was three years old.
Mittenaere attended school in Steenvoorde, where she lived with her mother. In 2011, she graduated from lycée with a degree in science. After graduating, she moved back to Lille, where she attended Lille 2 University of Health and Law, studying dentistry. She plans on becoming a dental surgeon after graduating.
Miss France 2016
After winning the Miss Flandre title in Bailleul, Mittenaere entered the Miss Nord-Pas-de-Calais 2015 pageant in Orchies, which she won. Mittenaere represented Nord-Pas-de-Calais at the Miss France 2016 pageant. On 19 December 2015, she was crowned Miss France by Miss France 2015 Camille Cerf in Lille. It was a back-to-back for the region.
During her reign as Miss France 2016, Iris Mittenaere has traveled to India, China, Italy, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, Ivory Coast.
Miss Universe 2016
She competed in Miss Universe 2016 where she succeeded Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach of the Philippines. Mittenaere became only the second woman from her country to win the crown after Christiane Martel won Miss Universe 1953, breaking France’s 63-year title drought. She’s the third French woman to make the Top 5, following Flora Coquerel in 2015 and Christiane Martel in 1953. Mittenaere is the first European winner since Miss Universe 2002 Oxana Fedorova of Russia, who resigned, and the first European titleholder to complete her year as Miss Universe since Mona Grudt of Norway who won Miss Universe 1990.
During her reign as Miss Universe, Iris Mittenaere traveled to the Philippines, Indonesia, Haiti, Cayman Islands, Ecuador, Mexico, Peru, India, Egypt and numerous trips around the United States and France. Mittenaere eventually crowned her successor Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters of South Africa as Miss Universe 2017 on November 26, 2017, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
After finishing her reign as Miss Universe, Mittenaere served as co-president of the jury with Jean-Paul Gaultier at Miss France 2018. She also appeared on stage with the five finalists as a part of the fashion swimsuit portion of the competition