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Maggie Coulombe puts the sizzle into shopping and style on Maui.

Designer Maggie Coulombe at her new boutique at Whalers Village

Leave it to the vivacious Maggie Coulombe (maggiecoulombe.com) to bring starry-eyed glamour to Maui. She’s dressed Hollywood A-listers such as Halle Berry and Teri Hatcher, but this talent has a script-worthy story of her own. Twenty years ago, this Toronto native of Korean ancestry arrived in Maui, where she soon put her fashion degree to work. After tackling everything from alterations for luxe label clients to uniforms for Four Seasons Resort Maui, she made the final leap in 2000 and launched her own label. (Her haute frocks exude her irrepressible and irresistible personality in every stitch.) And though Coulombe is a true world traveler—it’s hard not to get swept away as she talks about cafés in Montreal or a show on the mega yacht The World—she always calls the Valley Isle home, where she raises her son with husband, leading restaurateur Louis Coulombe. Here, the sassy style-maker gives us the lowdown on her personal touch.

When people hear fashion designer, they think all kinds of things. What’s most surprising about you? I can cut and sew 120 pieces for a show in 30 days, or I can design my wardrobe for a trip around the world and just use a carry-on. Now that’s a challenge! But I really don’t consider myself a fashion designer. I’m a lifestyle designer. Every piece has a story. When I’m creating, I’ll think of a certain restaurant that I visited. Maybe I was in New York or, even better... Paris.

What’s important about a handmade piece? I have sewn almost everything in my store. I do have another seamstress with me, Ester Lungaat, and we’ve been through a lot. But it always comes down to me custom-cutting and sewing for my clients. They’re my muses.

After years in Lahaina, why move and set up shop at Whalers Village? I love the concrete, the gray matter. At Whalers, it’s busier, more cosmopolitan, and it’s motivating to be around fellow merchants.

So, you’ve started to dabble in menswear, I hear. I actually started in menswear, and I’ve always loved a great men’s shirt. I’ll also have ties that may even be handmade while you wait, sipping on a cognac.

Rumor has it you’ve been popping over to the soon-to-open Andaz Maui. What can we expect? Surprise and adventure!