Style Sense with Kate Michael

A woman of many hats—one of which, technically a crown—Kate Michael is a regular entrepreneurial, politically-inclined beauty queen. Working as a research assistant for the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee in Georgia, Michael moved to DC for a job on Capitol Hill. As one motivation led her to the next, Michael’s career expanded. Originally a website intended to document her journey as Miss District of Columbia, Michael explains how she came to develop K Street Kate—an online magazine that features all notable happenings in DC.

Q: When and why did you move to DC?

A: I came to DC in 2004 to work on Capitol Hill.

Q: You were awarded Miss District of Columbia in 2006. What motivated you to compete?

A: As a Hill staffer, I was surrounded by very impressive people with passionate ideas—and most of them had graduate degrees. I thought that I should pursue one as well, to stay competitive. But financing higher education is expensive! The Miss America Scholarship Program helped me to learn more about myself, serve my city and pay for some of those grad school loans! And to be honest, one of the best things that came out of the entire experience was the opportunity to learn more about DC as a place to live, not just work—and certainly not just politics.

Q:  What prompted you to develop your own online magazine? What topics does it focus on and what clientele does it cater to?

A: At first, the site was a place for me to share my journey as Miss District of Columbia, an online diary of the year so to speak, featuring society parties, local openings and other news of interest. But at that time, there was a lack of lifestyle news availability specific to DC. So while I considered a halt to posting, the audience I had attracted was begging me to continue! In the almost six years since we’ve been publishing online, we’ve honed our hyperlocal content to include everything you’d expect from a lifestyle (aka “glossy”) magazine—food, fashion, events, local notables. We’re truly Livin’ La Vida Local! 

Q: Is fashion a big component in your life?

A: Fashion is huge in my life, [exclaims Michael, with added emphasis on ‘huge’] particularly because in addition to running K Street Kate I am a fashion (runway) model.  

Q: When did you develop your interest in fashion?

A: Working with some of the top names in fashion for the last 6 years or so, I’ve really learned about the industry—and not just the beautiful clothes but also the business behind the brands. I’d say I always loved shopping and showing my personal style, but it was this up close and personal contact that gave me a love for labels.

Q: Who are some of you favorite fashion icons—dead or alive?

A: No surprise, my ultimate icon is Audrey Hepburn, in fashion and life. I’m in awe of her style, her career, and her philanthropic pursuits throughout life. Currently, I like to follow the wardrobe choices of Blake Lively, Rose Byrne and oh so many others. My fashion favorites change all the time—kind of like my own personal style. My “signature” is to change it up! 

Q: What are some of your favorite clothing stores in the Washington DC metro area?

A: There are so many! I find great dresses for events and appearances at Saks, Cusp, Intermix, Urban Chic, Wink and so many other boutiques. And a lot of incredibly talented local designers offer to create custom pieces for me as well. K Street Kate also has partnered with Style Owner to curate our own online store of our favorite fashions called DC Style File which I shop from all the time!

Q: You’ve competed and won in pageants, appeared on the pages of Elle magazine and been awarded Verizon 2006-2007 Pollin Award for your service and dedication to the Washington DC community. What causes and interests motivate your community work?

A: While I am happy to devote a lot of time, attention and energy to a variety of worthy causes, I think each of us have to look into our souls to find that one—ok, maybe two—causes that really speak to us. I chose literacy, including reading skills of course, but also financial literacy, technical literacy and cultural literacy. I think these are essential tools to be the best you can be, as well as an integral member of society. Literacy was my platform at Miss America and I continue to work with organizations like the Junior League of Washington, the Heart of America Foundation, First Book, Reading is Fundamantal, the Washington Literacy Council and others that have literacy as their core mission. 

Lately, I’ve also been very active in breast cancer funding and research. Many of my young friends have been diagnosed—or perished—from this illness which touches too many.

Q: What is your next step? Where do you want to be in 10 years? Do you see yourself staying in DC?

A: The world changes so quickly, it’s impossible to plan. In 10 years, five years, even two years from now I hope I’m still working to better this city that I love so much. I was/am Miss District of Columbia—how could I ever dream to leave?  

It seems that for Kate Michael, as long as she can dream it, she can do it.

Chic In The City: Kate Michael

Kate Michael DC
Kate is a familiar face in the Washington social scene and a socialite must always look her best for those spur of the moment photo ops. Kate’s statuesque figure makes any outfit she wears on the town look extra special. She wears the clothes and never allows the clothes to wear her. That’s why many local designers and boutiques have made her the face for their advertising campaigns. Recently, Kate became the newest face for Fashion Fights Poverty. Some might follow trends but her style is all her own and is consistent. Whether she is just hanging with the guys at Rugby to watch the Redskins or sushi and drinks with the girls at Mate, the girl once described by designer Zac Posen as a “Zac girl” during an Elle magazine photoshoot, always looks chic. She’s got brains, beauty, style and class and Kate certainly is chic in the city.

Name: Kate Michael

Occupation: Green Collar Jobs Program Analyst (DOES), Blogger, Freelance Writer, Model

Neighborhood: Foggy Bottom

How would you describe your look?
City Sophisticated

What should every woman have in her wardrobe?
At least one black pencil skirt and a sexy red dress

Do you have a fashion mentor?
Not exactly. There are those whose styles I like, but I think fashion – and knowing what looks best on your particular figure – is personal.

Who are your favorite designers?
Badgely Mischka, Valentino, Nicole Miller, Escada and Givenchy are some of my favorites.

What designers or labels do you actually wear the most?
My closet is full of cocktail dresses by Black Halo, Nicole Miller and Reiss. To work, I like Theory and DVF.

First designer item ever bought?
It was probably a DVF wrap dress… but the first truly memorable item was an Escada evening suit purchased at the flagship store in NYC.

Where do you shop?
These days, largely online. Some of my favorite stores and websites include Reiss, Cusp, Club Monaco, basics from Victoria’s Secret online, and finding some steals on

What are you lusting after right now?I think the Badgely Mischka Belted Ombre Dress would be an absolute stunner at the office or a daytime political function.

What’s the one thing you can’t live without?
The one FASHION ACCESSORY I must have is Dior Show mascara. Otherwise, it’s probably my blackberry.

To Latenight or Not to Latenight?
Depends on my mood – but usually YES!

In one sentence, what do you actually do all day in your job?
I search for economically and environmentally sustainable employment training and job opportunties for District residents.

What’s your favorite bar?
This changes constantly. This very second… Tattoo.

What’s in your DVD player right now?
Roman Holiday. It’s my favorite movie… I watch it over and over.

How much is too much to spend on a pedicure?

When’s bedtime?
I try to hit the pillow by 1 am…

Brunch: pro or con?
Brunch = food and friends together. Pro!

Most expensive thing in your closet?
I have a pageant gown or two valued at ~$3,000. They are about the only reason I need condo insurance…

Vogue, Elle or Bazaar?
Elle – I have to go with the mag that gave me a full page feature (Jan. 2007) But I love the articles in Vogue, too.

What do you hate most about living in DC?
I have to leave the city to go to a real Chick-fil-A.

Metro, Cab it or Drive?Metro whenever possible.

Style icon who represents your style the most?
Audrey Hepburn – classic and chic.

Ravens or Redskins?
Redskins, of course.

If you could be anything what would it be?
Hmmm… other than a Victoria’s Secret model? I might like to be Editor of major newspaper or magazine.

Would you rather be a superhero or a villain?
What powers would you have? Superhero. I love doing good and looking good. I would erase innocent pain and suffering.

What is the one thing you do often when no one is looking?
I don’t know… take off my shoes? :)

Kate Celebrating Her Accomplishments

K Street Kate arranged an event at The Mighty Pint to celebrate two amazing accomplishments: Washington Post’s declaration of K Street Kate being named DC’s favorite “Social Butterfly” and Glamour Magazine naming K Street Kate a magazine “Glambassador.”

Congratulations to Kate Michael for so much accomplishment!!! Shout outs go to the following for also joining in the fun: Tina Cruikshank, John-Michael Scott, Laura Chavez, Donna Donella, Wendy Gordon, Mark Drapeau, Vithaya Phongsavan (responsible for picture featured here), Daniel Swartz, Roxana Serbanescu, Constance Christakos, Kristen Murdock, Rachael Glaws, Stef Woods, Sandro and Kelly Collis Frederick!

K Street Kate In Sweet Charity Event

Sweet Charity event at the Mandarin Oriental in Washington, D.C. was another vast success! Once again, the event sold out, with over 800 attendees enjoying a night of appetizing food from area restaurants, sipping cocktails, and watching models strut down the runway at the chocolate fashion show. The event included sweet and spicy dishes from over 40 area restaurants, as well as a silent auction with 70 items, and a lottery for 4 VIP tickets to Regis and Kelly.

This year's winner of the chocolate fashion show was Shaun McCarty, the pastry sous chef for the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Centre. Chef McCarty intended a dress and accessories made from chocolate in the likeness of Gretel from the children's story Hansel and Gretel. His model was Caitlin, a dancer for the Washington Wizard's cheerleading squad.

K Street Kate also witnessed the event and enjoyed the show. Sweet Charity is held yearly to benefit the Heart of America Foundation which supplies books to children in need across the United States. The Heart of America is a long time partner with AUI to endorse literacy and support children through the Sweet Charity event.

K Street Kate’s Interview With Spencer Bates

K Street Kate’s interviewed Spencer Bates a musician at P.J. Clarke's! He plays his own compositions, and he dishes with the hosts at P.J. Clarke's. Kate mentioned Spencer Bates as Piano Man. You can see the interview video just below.

K Street Kate’s Interview On Adapting To DC

Kate Michael moved to Washington from Atlanta looking for chance, and after working as a staffer on Capitol Hill she became Miss District of Columbia 2006. Branching out from the blog she launched during her beauty queen reign, she started an online socialite persona from scratch as K Street Kate and now sits on the Speaker's Committee of the National Press Club while popping up at the town's charity balls, nonprofit fundraisers and fashion shows. Michael shared her experience on making your own luck in the nation's capital.

When you came here, what made DC appeal to you more as a city than Atlanta?

My family has lived in the suburbs of Atlanta since 1996, but while I've always loved getting lost with the Peachtree Streets, I knew Atlanta wasn't for me. DC's power - and not only in a political sense - is invigorating. This is a place where you can actually make your plans happen and have the time of your life doing it! And you meet so many interesting and interested people along the way. Both cities can boast unbelievable opportunities and international flair, but DC's unique neighborhoods and cultural contributions really made me want to call it home.

After that experience do you have any advice for people who come here for work to settle in and meet people?

This is one of the most social cities on the planet - there is no plea for not taking advantage! One of the easiest ways to meet people is to get concerned with any of the many local charities, unique interest groups or state societies. A general bond makes first introductions even easier.

Washington has great opportunities for the Web and promotions. How did you go about creating your own brand?

That question will take more than a few sentences to answer! K Street Kate has grown over the last four-plus years because I and my team have been a reliable and trusted source for the best of the city's lifestyle news.

How do you manage the pace of a city where people try to plan everything and there are so many event nights?

Not everyone can do what I do, and as a businesswoman, I'm grateful for that! Hopefully it keeps you reading! But honestly, I have a passion for recognizing and sharing all of the most magnificent things happening around us here in the District. I just can't get enough!

Any advice on how to balance personal and professional socializing?

I see no need to discriminate! I say: Live your life as if you're some day running for office, and your fans and friends will forever respect you.

K Street Kate Named "Social Butterfly"

It was a powerful good time at Mighty Pint as Kate Michael, DC’s own K Street Kate, celebrated the Washington Post announcement of K Street Kate being named DC's favorite "Social Butterfly" and Glamour Magazine naming K Street Kate a magazine "Glambassador.” Michael, a former Miss DC in 2006 hosts her blog as well as the online lifestyle magazine and talk show, The District Dish.

A packed house braved somewhat icy circumstances to dance the night away to the tunes of everything from Madonna to Lady Gaga to Journey and Depeche Mode amidst the signature tater tots and pint sized beverages. Svedka Vodka’s Bot video booth was on site, total with neon colored wigs, sequined glasses and other accessories to capture visitors in full robotic mode on film.

Among the celebrants were photographers Vithaya Phongsavan and Daniel Swartz, fellow bloggers Stef Woods and Kelly Collis, Art Soiree’s Sandro Keresa, Michael Clements of GenkiMedia, and legal eagle Matt Schwartz.

K Street Kate's Celebration At Writing Group Re-Launch

Washington Writing Group, LLC (WWG) celebrated its first anniversary and re-launch. Bianca Grimaldi, WWG President and Founder, welcomed clients, close friends, and relations to the celebration at trendy Co Co Sala in DC’s Penn Quarter. Kate was also present in the celebration.

While sipping on a specialty cocktail entitled “Writer’s Block”, guests dined on delicious Louisiana crab cakes, truffled mac ‘n’ cheese tarts, beet and goat cheese lollipops, and chicken tandoori sliders.

K Street Kate's Holiday Shopping Party

Kate and Perri help themselves to several holiday treats

4th Anniversary Celebration Of K Street Kate

Blogger Kate Michael celebrated four years of her victorious D.C. lifestyle blog "K Street Kate" with an extraordinary party at Luxxery med-spa on Wisconsin Avenue in Northwest D.C.

"Real Housewives of D.C." stars Lynda Erkeletian and Ebong Eka dropped in, as did Juleanna Glover, Yemeni Ambassador Abdulwahab Al-Hajjri, Stephanie Green, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar's (D-Minn) recently departed communications director, Erikka Knuti.

K Street Kate's Visit For The Launch Of Sofitel Properties

It was a day in Casablanca at the Sofitel in Lafayette Square as guests gathered at the hotel’s Ici Urban Bistro to enjoy the flavors of Morocco in honor of the launch of two of seven new Sofitel properties in Morocco Casablanca and Essaouria, in 2011.

Sofitel D.C. General Manager Pierre-Louis Renou hosted media mavens Stephanie Green, Pamela's Punch’s Pamela Sorenson, K Street Kate's Kate Michael, Matthew Dornic of Fishbowl. The dynamic duo of Nikki Schwab and Katy Adams of the Examiner’s Yeas and Nays, DC Magazine publisher Peter Abrahams, and Capitol File’s Sarah Schaeffer were along with the group.

A Moroccan Week menu, formed by visiting chefs from Marrakech, Fes and Rabat and featuring authentic delights like meat briouats, an assortment of traditional Moroccan salads, and seven vegetable couscous with lamb and tfaya will be accessible at Sofitel’s Ici Urban Bistro from September 25-October 3.

Fashion for Autism

On Friday, September 24, the glitz and glamour of New York Fashion Week comes to the City Tavern Club in Georgetown as designer

Former Miss D.C. Kate Michael, Edwing D’Angelo’s preview s his newest fashion collection. Also on hand will be internationally acclaimed Juilliard concert pianist Edvinas Minkstimas, fashion photographer Viktorija Juodenaite, Miss D.C. 2010 Stephanie Williams, celebrity stylist Erwin Gomez, and Miss Peru, just to name a few.

Many prominent members of the Georgetown business community have donated their time and effort to produce this amazing evening of style and grace, including Janine Schoonover (Serendipity3), Rokas Beresniovas (Wells Fargo), Katy Adams (The Washington Examiner), Marilyn Thompson (WASH-FM), Jenny Zin (Betsey Johnson), H.E. W.Nelson Lewis (Rolling Stone Magazine), Christopher Swann (Thomson Reuters), and Melanie Zipperer (World Bank) and many others.

Support a worthy cause and enjoy one of the highlights of the early fall social calendar in Washington D.C.!

Many More Years For K Street Kate

It was a little of K Street Tuesday evening, but just as full of go nonetheless as Kate Michael celebrated the fourth anniversary of her blog “K Street Kate” at Luxxery Express on Wisconsin Avenue.

The ex- Miss D.C. and current host of The District Dish celebrated in style with wines and champagne from CPC Cellars, cocktails made with Absolute Vodka and Smartwater for a little hydration, along with a guest list that included Real Housewives of DC cast member Lynda Erkiletian with beau Ebong Eka, Alan Popovsky, owner of Hudson restaurant, Reese Gardner, partner in the after party locale, Mighty Pint and Mel Davis of Citronelle.

After the ‘official’ celebration, party-goers moved the festivities to The Mighty Pint where its soon-to-be renowned potato ‘tots’ were emphasize of the evening along with, what else. Pints of beer and cocktail concoctions set to a backdrop of 80’s tunes.

Congratulations Kate—as you enter your second term!

Marzee Boutique’s Fashion Dresses Hosted by K Street Kate

Marzee Boutique will officially introduce its fabulous clothes and upscale atmosphere with a day long grand opening event, hosted by K Street Kate, Kate Michael.

Specializing in both independent and international designers, the specialty retailer prides itself on scouring the world's hottest fashion magazines, runway shows, and showroom floors in order to obtain the latest apparel and accessories for its customers. Indeed, browsing the racks of clothing at the store today turned-up precious few "big names" which is exactly as the owners intended. Branding takes a definitive backseat to individuality at Marzee.

Marzee Boutique,was established online in 2007, opened its first brick and mortar location in Georgetown this spring. Attendees will celebrate and indulge in high fashion, delicious treats and chilled champagne. There will be hourly drawings for gifts and additional savings and mini style sessions provided by Marzee Boutique’s fashion experts.

Kstreet Kate Michael at Washington

Kstreet Kate Michael participated in Khalil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards at the Renaissance Hotel.

On April 22, night at washington everybody joined at the Arab American Institute as it hosted its 12th annual Khalil Gibran Spirit of Humanity Awards at the Renaissance Hotel. The awards honor those who enhance the lives of Arab Americans and promote peaceful coexistence in all walks of life.

Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley received the Award for Individual Achievement for convening the first US-Arab Cities Forum with Chicago’s sister cities.

The party also helped to raise $10,000 for next month’s Avon Walk, with every dollar going to breast cancer awareness and early detection programs.

Kate’s Leisure Time Favorite Places

Kate love’s wandering around Georgetown and watching all of the tourist’s places and she also loves just sitting at Dean and Deluca and having a chai latte and just hanging out. She loves the 14th street corridor very much. Now a day’s Kate used go there at least four days a week for shopping or eating, and at night too. Kate Michael actually has not been to Gibson, but it is on her list. Kate’s favorite places changes depending on her mood, and her favorite place right now is a tossup between 14th street and Georgetown.

Kate was just filming a documentary for the BBC, and they wanted her to take them to places that people don’t know. So she took them to some amusing places and parks, because a lot of people don’t know that DC has more green space than any other metropolitan city in the United States. Meridian Hill Park at 16th Street is an incredible place according to Kate, you can do anything there. On Sunday afternoons, you can see great drum circle, and you can enjoy everything going on.