News & Runway

Kerry Washington Unveils Second Purple Purse Collab, Says the Reaction to Her Emmy’s Look Made Her ‘Uncomfortable’

Kerry Washington

Image: WENN

Last night, #TGIT die-hards welcomed Scandal back for its fifth season, so you can imagine what a busy day it was for star Kerry Washington. In addition to doing promo for the series, she also stopped by the Plaza Hotel (which she ran out of soon after she hit the red carpet to catch a glimpse of the Pope as he cruised down Fifth Avenue) to unveil her latest Purple Purse collaboration with Allstate, which helps raise money to bring awareness to the issue of domestic abuse, particularly financial abuse. This is Washington’s second time working with Allstate on the project and for this go-round, she had a little help from Dee Ocleppo.

“It’s really fun to have a partner and what I’m really excited about this year is that you can buy the purse,” Washington told us. “I wanted to work with Dee because she’s an amazing designer, but also because she has retail experience and so many people wanted to buy the bag last year. Because of her relationship with Saks, we were able to sell the bag there this year.”

“Dee is such a girl’s girl, she’s super generous, so we just got together and talked about what we envisioned. I wanted to do a bag that fit in with the aesthetic of what she does, but also has a bit of my own style,” she said. “So I chose the textile and the shade we were going to go with, but the form was more in line with the bag that she does and we chose the metals together. It was really fun!” Washington and Ocleppo unveiled the sleek purple reptile-embossed envelope clutch, on sale now exclusively at Saks. Twenty five percent of the proceeds from the $350 dollar purse will go to Allstate’s Purple Purse charity. 

Dee Ocleppo Kerry Washington

Dee Ocleppo and Kerry Washington via Getty

Kerry Washington has become something of a fashion darling thanks to her decidedly sophisticated and chic style. It seems as if the fashion thing comes naturally to her. But Washington says that she’s really only just learning about the world of style and she got into it because of her job as an actress. Though she’s grown to really love and be passionate about fashion, Washington admits that she is a little wary of her status as a style icon.

During her speech at the event, she talked about the fabulous straight-off-the-runway Marc Jacobs Spring 2016 dress she wore to the Emmys last weekend. Though she felt amazing in the dress, everyone’s reaction to it made her feel uneasy. “To be completely honest, the next morning it made me uncomfortable because we have turned fashion into a competition, where we decide that some people are better than other people, which for me takes some of the sense of art out of it and turns something creative into a race. So I was really grateful that people agreed with me, but it also made me nervous because I don’t want to be seduced by that ever. I want to make sure that I always wear things I feel great about because I feel great about them.”

Besides her dress, Washington had another big moment during the Emmys broadcast – that delightful Apple Music commercial she appeared in with Mary J. Blige and Taraji P. Henson, which pictured the women jamming to dope tracks, giving us ultimate #squadgoals. According to Washington, the vibe on set was just as lively as it was in the commercial. “It was really fun. Ava DuVernay directed, so it was really like four girls getting together and hanging out with great music and great food and great fun.” And the songs they were dancing to in the spot? Yeah, they’re tunes the ladies get down to on the reg. “In real life, Ava interviewed all of us and she said, ‘Give me three songs you loved in high school, give me breakup songs you love, give me songs that make you feel sexy.’ She interviewed us on the music we love and you see it in the commercial.”

So, last night we learned that Kerry Washington has a big heart, great style and great taste in music – she’s even cooler than we thought.