As the final season of Scandal comes to an end, costume designer Lyn Paolo hopes women have been inspired by Olivia Pope’s fashion choices. Over the past seven seasons, Olivia has had many memorable style moments, from her now iconic white hat to the countless ballgowns that she has worn in and out of the White House.

However, no matter how many designers labels are in your closet, Lyn, who has styled Kerry Washington‘s character since the first episode premiered in 2012, believes Olivia Pope is proof a great outfit is the only armor a gladiator needs.

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“I hope her fashion has empowered women to dress the way they want to dress in the world and not the way we’re told we should dress,” Lyn told Life & Style exclusively. “I hope she has inspired people, women and men, to find their own self in their clothing, and not just conform. Because, you know, I have people who write to me and say, ‘I dressed like Olivia and got the job.’ I hope there’s a group of young women out there who are more considered in how they dress going out into the world.”

She continued, “Fashion is fun but it can be a little challenging. I hope she just inspired people.” Kerry has also been very vocal about Olvia’s style — and has joked about her plans to grab a keepsake or two from her character’s closet before the season finale. “It’s not one purse. It’s like 20 purses in various colors to match every outfit,” Kerry told Stephen Colbert of her character’s signature Prada handbags. “No, no, no, they mean a lot to me, these bags. Seven years of memories in every single beautiful bag. She is a very well-dressed character.”

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And the end of the ABC political drama will not be easy for Lyn either. “It’s so bittersweet — the end of Scandal,” she explained. “We’re all so upset. We are all literally crying, every little thing is like, ‘Oh, this is the last time we’ll do this,’ or ‘This is the last time we’ll do that.’ I’m good at the beginning, I’m good at the middle, I’m not good at the end.”

Be sure to tune into Scandal Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on ABC.