Michele Letarte Ross, Letarte President
Letarte co-founder and President Michele Letarte Ross packs a lot of aloha into beach bags around the world. From her NYC-area business offices, Michele and her Maui-based sister, Lisa Letarte Cabrinha, have created over a decade’s worth of tropical luxe clothing that is found in over 400 distinguished retailers and exclusive resorts. Thanks to Michele's business expertise, what began as a single bathing suit - sold at a Hawaiian beachside bungalow in 2000 - is now a multi-million dollar empire of swimwear, sportswear, tunics, beach accessories, after sun skincare and tropical-weight cashmere.
Letarte's signature trademarked prints, intricate adornments and lavish detail have made the label a coveted brand for loyal fans including celebrities Kate Hudson, Brooklyn Decker and Beyonce. Over 50 swimsuits have graced the pages of the coveted Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition over the past 13 years including two cover shots in 2005 and 2013.
But it’s not just Letarte’s creative designs and effortless fashions that have made the Maui company such a success. Michele’s strong business initiatives – including a female majority staff & a company directive to always stay true to the brand – have helped the Letarte label continue to grow beyond the beach. Letarte Boutiques can be found in some of the most fashionable zip codes—from the trendy town of Paia in Maui to New York City's prestigious Madison Avenue.
"Our Letarte stores have inspired us to create a luxe year-round experience for our customers by bringing them from the beach to the street with dresses, tunics, swimwear and Apres Soleil Cashmere. Whether I am visiting our Madison Avenue store on a snowy Saturday or in the Palm Beach boutique on a sunny afternoon, I hear the same sentiment repeated--Letarte takes you away to a different place. It’s the vibe in our stores, an embellishment on an tunic, a pattern on a bikini…what started out as a brand has evolved into a lifestyle."