Guess what happened on Sunday, October 02, 2016 at Mercedes-Benz Of Arlington. The Purple Runway held the fashion event of the year in District of Columbia Metropolitan Area! From the very beginning the buzz surrounding The Purple Runway was highly anticipated and once the guest began to arrive the excitement was electric! If you missed it you missed an experience that can only be achieved by the chic duo Gigi McMillan and Jeannie Keras.

When Kamisol Style Consultancy, Inc. fused fashion with Domestic Violence Awareness, ta-da, The Purple Runway was born! Through fashion, Kamisol Style Consultancy, Inc. delicately began much needed conversations by bringing domestic violence awareness to the forefront. Sponsored by Mercedes Benz of Arlington and The Fur Salon at Saks Fifth Avenue, The Purple Runway indeed raised the fashion bar once again.


The Purple Runway Team chose The National Network To End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), Change In Action, LLC. and Allstate Foundation Purple Purse to raise awareness, money and collect in-kind donations for in the entire month of October. During the VIP Cocktail party representatives from each organization got an opportunity to speak to the work they do and why awareness and support is vital. To get involved or to receive resources please connect with the organizations directly.


98% of all domestic violence cases include financial abuse and financial abuse is the number one reason women remain or return to an abusive relationship. More women need financial empowerment and freedom in order to live the life they deserve. Free of abuse. A woman’s purse is not only her financial domain but in many of cases it represents who she is. Jeannie Keras, who is the Director Of Service for The Fur Salon at Saks Fifth Avenue,  responsible designing The 2016 Purple Runway Purse, as a symbol to educate the public about domestic violence, financial abuse and financial freedom.

The 2016 Purple Runway Purse is not only a one of a kind custom design, it was beautifully crafted in purple dyed chinchilla, trimmed in black alligator and values over $9,000. As one of the Purple Runway Silent Auction items the purse was filled with designer fragrances and gifts, bringing the grand total value to $10, 200. 


The Purple Runway opened with celebrating the Community Champions, Mali Phonpadith, Joan Jackson and Elaine Gibson walking the runway. Each of the women raised funds within their individual networks to support domestic violence awareness and The Purple Runway charitable organizations. The women were all smiles and looked radiant as they walked the runway in their Purple Runway sashes.



Next, spoken word artist, Ashley “Epiphany” Hodges hit the stage! Epiphany brazenly recited her poem, entitled Domestic,  which she wrote specifically for the Purple Runway.

The guest were instantly dazzled by every word Epiphany spoke. As she left the stage it was very clear to hear the crowd responses over the applause, “beautiful, wow, amazing, yes and oh my God” were all words that immediately and rapidly following Epiphany’s exit.

Afterward, when asked about her poem, Domestic, this is what Epiphany had to say …..,

“There is power in your voice and I hope my poem encourages you to be powerful by using your voice to speak up so that another life can be saved!” Ashley “Epiphany” Hodges


Mindy Lam Couture graced the runway featuring beautiful custom couture and fine jewelry with gorgeous models dressed in vintage clothing. Each piece was designed with metals, lace patterns, semi-precious stones, sculpted sterling silver and Swarovski crystals. Mindy Lam Jewerly showcased an exquisite line exuding femininity, grace and edge.


Only Jeannie Keras has the audacity, creativity and ability to turn the Purple Runway into a woman’s dream closet and beyond. The Fur Salon at Saks Fifth Avenue captivated the guest with a 36 minute nonstop showcase experience.

Model after model, after model, continued to come down the runway all wearing gorgeous and alluring furs! Roberto Cavalli, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Valentino, Pamela Roland, Fendi,The Fur Salon ‘s Private Label. So many designer furs the list can go on and on.

As the guest heads turned back and forth, eyes danced all over the runway, camera phones stayed up in the air, cheers, smiles and chatter rang throughout the room the runway was full of excitement, to say the least.

It was remarkable! The Fur Salon at Saks Fifth Avenue showcased over sixty stunning furs in all. So many fur wraps, capes, shawls and coats! The beauty of furs were everywhere! To top off the evening the Purple Runway experience ending with three ravishing Saks Fifth Avenue evening gowns. One word. Gorgeous! What a finale!  As you may be able to imagine a standing ovation from the guest, with whistle and cheers was instinctive and infectious!


Connecting the public to Domestic Violence Awareness not only took professional and personal bravery but also “style” and Gigi McMillan has demonstrated just that through the Purple Runway 2016. Gigi McMillan take a bow because you also deserve a standing ovation.


No one does it like Mercedes-Benz of Arlington. The entire Mercedes-Benz of Arlington Team gave first class, or should we say e-class service to The Purple Runway Team throughout the planning, preparing and execution of the event. “The Best Or Nothing.” is not only their tag line but also something the Mercedes-Benz of Arlington Team proved to be very passionate and committed to providing.
Standing Ovation for Mercedes-Benz of Arlington Team


Throughout this article you will find the artistry of Tag The Shooter Photography, Marcus Bennett, Chris Weber, Hans Spiegel, Jay Hubbard and Radek Art Photography. Each photographer exhibits their individual skills to captured the beauty of the runway, creating visual harmony.


The Purple Runway 2016 fashion show experience the one word that comes to mind is fabulous! I really appreciate an event centered around such a powerful mission to raise awareness to end domestic violence. The class and sophistication that Kamisol Style brought to the DMV that evening was unsurpassed. I cannot wait to see what’s in store next year.

Jamellia Arrington

I was so blessed to be able to attend the 2016 Purple Runway event sponsored by Kamisol Style Consultancy, on Sunday, October 2nd the models were flawless and truly slayed the runway! The stories that were shared from the domestic violence victors, not victims, were inspiring and all who were involved including CEO Gigi McMillan were totally beautiful and so empowering! Looking forward to next year.

Pamela Ware

This was really beautiful! This was special. Gigi did really well and I surely enjoyed myself. The cause, the furs, the place and show. I can’t wait to come back next year.

Dr. Marvette Thomas


Not only did the guest give a standing ovation at the end of Purple Runway but a standing ovation goes to the behind the scenes teams. It’s obvious that the Purple Runway has a lot of moving parts.

The Beauty Design Team

Eston Stylez, Design Team Coordinator and Master Hair Stylist, Shane Turner Make Up Artist, Shania Walker Hair Stylist, Ambar Tall Hair Stylist, Greyss Zenteno Make Up Artist, Karen Hopson Make Up Artist, Antonia Wilkerson Beauty Assistant and  Erika Evans Hair Stylist.

Who worked behind the scenes?

Zappetizers Catering, Serum Entertainment and Events, Sugar Rim, Edelheiss Wine, Spin Wax, Tag The Shooter, Carlton Hart, Rituska, Inc., Jamel Brown, Khylah Settle, Greg Puhl, Simeaka Melton, Gigi McMillan, The Fur Salon at Saks Fifth Avenue and The Entire Mercedes-Benz Of Arlington Team.

A well deserved standing ovation to #ThePurpleRunway2016


SAVE THE DATE: The Purple Runway October 08, 2017

written by Simeaka Melton, FTLOS Editor In Chief

VIDEO: #PurpleRunway2016

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