May 19, 2014
12:57 PM
Style & Shopping

Designer Swimwear, Warehouse Prices: Letarte’s 2014 Connecticut Splash

Designer Swimwear, Warehouse Prices: Letarte’s 2014 Connecticut Splash

A screenshot from the Letarte swimwear website.

If you don’t know the designer swimwear label Letarte—whose line includes cover-ups, sportswear, resort wear and après soleil cashmere—June is the perfect time to get acquainted.

See our related story Online Swimwear Boutique Based in Connecticut Makes 'Official' Debut

Letarte, created in 2000 by sisters Lisa Letarte Cabrinha, the Maui-based designer, and Michele Letarte Ross, the company’s Connecticut-based president, is holding its Annual Warehouse Sale in Fairfield June 14 to 20, a highly-anticipated event that sees women gather socially while lining up to get in first on opening day. (At right, Michele Letarte Ross, left, and Lisa Letarte Cabrinha.)

This “bathing suit bonanza” launches June 13 with an exclusive pre-sale event from 6 to 8 p.m. to benefit the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life initiative. Tickets, at $100 each, offer access to deeply-discounted tunics, caftans, and swimwear before the sale begins at the warehouse at 160 Carter Henry Drive. (Letarte adds new items to the sale each day.)

Letarte is known for its signature prints, intricate adornments and lavish detail. And, as the website says, “The Hawaiian authenticity of the label blends a bohemian island essence with chic global aesthetics.”

What’s new this beach season?

“We have several fabrics that we run year-in, year-out and we’re constantly updating that,” Michele says by phone, mentioning that the look of Letarte’s iconic Moon Skull Rashguard is being freshened with a deep turquoise color, offset by orange for great pop.

“We’re seeing a lot of activity in one-pieces,” she adds. “Our lines are really known for being fresh and innovative and detail-oriented, and we try to cover that across the board. There’s always a little bit of design surprise.”

The label is a longtime darling of the Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue. Letarte’s designs have been on the cover twice, in 2005 and in 2013, when model Kate Upton wore the white mesh bikini in an Antarctica photo shoot.

Letarte also created the swimsuit that graces the cover of the coffee table book Sports Illustrated Swimsuit: 50 Years of Beautiful. Lisa Letarte Cabrinha combined 50 years of magazine covers into the signature print designed especially for the two-piece halter, Letarte says online.

“As a swim designer, it is always a thrill to see your creations on the pages of Sports Illustrated,” Lisa says online. Beyond Sports Illustrated, Letarte is an in-demand label for lots of celebrities, including Kate Hudson, Beyonce, Giada De Laurentiis and Megan Fox.

“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,” Michele says on the website. “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 a tunic, a pattern on a bikini … what started out as a brand has evolved into a lifestyle.”

As high-gloss as all of that might seem, Letarte is anchored by easy-to-love passion and integrity. In 2012, for example, Letarte was inducted into the Made in the USA Foundation Hall of Fame.

Even better, Letarte is a label for all stylish women. Those who might not feel comfortable in the Moonlight Ruffle Bikini would love the gorgeous one-piece suits or tankinis; they’re very sexy without being very skimpy.

If a warehouse sale isn’t your thing, head to the Letarte boutique on Greenwich Ave. in Greenwich (203) 992-4377 or shop online. If you find yourself on Long Island, check out the new pop-up shop in Southampton. Everything else you need to know is at


Designer Swimwear, Warehouse Prices: Letarte’s 2014 Connecticut Splash

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