THE BRAND LEATA
Le-Ata is named after the founder, Leata Mailo McCarthy who owns, operates and is the designer of the brand.
Leata was named after her Mum, who was in turn named after her grandaunt - a family name which has been passed down through generations. Leata is short for Leataataofale, which means a shadow or hallow of a house/family in Samoan.
Le-Ata, with a dash in the middle, gives the significance of ‘The images’ or ‘The Smile’. It is the essence of the designs that the images incorporated into the garments may be able to communicate love and passion for her culture and heritage. As a Samoan now residing in Tonga, Leata takes pride in her identity, not just a Samoan but a Pacific Island woman.This is reflected in her flare for fashion as she aims to use this platform to promote a contemporary fusion of fashion and her pacific culture and heritage through the use of Elei and Kupesi Printing.
Her husband’s work demands flexibility when required for their young family to travel around the pacific. Although Leata sees this as very beneficial for her work, she admits it to be frustrating. As soon as she sets up shop and everything is running smoothly, Leata is required to move.From New Zealand they moved back briefly to Samoa, where she carried on making her own Elei and clothing for family and friends.
In 2011, the family moved to American Samoa where she successfully launched an online store where she sold her products worldwide. Leata’s biggest stepping-stone was opening her physical store in Nukualofa when they moved to Tonga in 2012.
Fast forward to 2019, Le-Ata now has a sister branch in Samoa, located in Fagalii-uta and a business partner and exclusive distributor in American Samoa with Pacific Elegance.
Le-Ata products can also be found at distributors in NZ and Australia.
Check out our Distributors page for more details.