Chufy’s Sofia Sanchez de Betak launches collab with Rossy de Palma
Sofia Sanchez de Betak is kinda the It-Gal of the It-Gals in Paris.
Mum, graphic artist, influencer, entrepreneur and fashion designer, Sanchez de Betak debuts her latest collab for her brand Chufy this weekend in Spain.
Her latest gal-pal linkup: with iconic actress Rossy de Palma, Pedro Almodóvar’s fetish thespian and offbeat fashion plate. Their launch location: La Residencia, part of the LVMH-owned Belmond chain, located in Deià, the beautiful and artistically inhabited seaside valley on the west coast of Mallorca.
Deià is where the brilliant novelist Robert Graves penned his greatest works; Andrew Lloyd Webber wrote some of his Broadway musicals; The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie hung out and where Kate Moss, Nicolas Ghesquière and Harry Styles vacation. It’s also where Sofia and her hubby, power producer Alexandre de Betak – the guy behind the stellar Dior shows – have a rather swish house.
“It’s a nice honor and a neat thrill to work with Sofia. And she’s going to throw me a greatttt party!” chuckled Rossy when we caught up with her at Olivier Rousteing’s collection for Jean Paul Gaultier, a designer for whom she has modelled.
Besides being a lady of great taste, Sofia is also a smart designer who manages to combine dashing cosmopolitan chic with looking great just off a late-night plane panache. Her custom-designed prints in blotchy subtracts, funky folkloric or jumbled-up florals have real élan.
Born in Buenos Aires, matured in Manhattan, resident in Paris, the big-eyed Sofia has led a gilded life, yet there is nothing self-indulgent about Sofia and her brand Chufy, culled from her childhood nickname. Chufy now retails in over 100 doors. Last year it created a hit Mango x Chufy collection.
She has even written a coffee table book published by Assouline, exalting her haute luxurious bohemian travels and myriad inspirations. It would be easy to be envious of la Sofia, but hang it all -- her clothes are feminine, flirty, fashionable and fun. So there.
So, we caught up with the willowy mid-thirties mum in her Seine-side Paris home for a pow-wow on Chufy, running a business from Buenos Aires and collaborating with Rossy.
FashionNetwork.com: Tell us about your background?
Sofia Sanchez de Betak: Well, I first moved to New York, 12 or 15 years ago. I don’t even know how, but I started doing art direction. I got a job with Doug Lloyd for some years and then I worked for Raul Martinez and then with Alex in New York and at other agencies doing art direction for fashion. I came to Paris and saw Alex and couldn’t keep my full-time job. So, I started freelancing and then eventually I got brands asking me to do capsules for them and collaborations.
FNW: Is that how you became an influencer?
SSDB: If you want to call it that, but I don’t really talk to the camera. I don’t really interact that much.
FNW: So, you don’t consider yourself as an influencer ?
SSDB: Exactly, I’m not. I have a really hard time telling people what to choose. I just live my life. I share a little bit of a very narrow part of it, and I work a lot. I don’t think I share much of my work online. So now I don’t consider myself of an influencer.
FNW: What were the first things you did with Chufy?
SSDB: Back in 2017, Bergdorf and Colette kinda’ at the same time, asked me to do something for them. So, I did kinda’ like did a capsule for them both.
FNW: Did you target an age group?
SSDB: No, I just got inspired by Argentina.
FNW: Is Chufy targeted at young women?
SSDB: Not really. There was some, like, more timeless pieces for all sorts of ages. In fact, our pricing was always a bit above young. I would say I’m over 35 years old at least.
FNW: So, you began by selling in Bergdorf?
SSDB: It was on the designer floor. And they gave us a window in Colette and things went really well. They kind of sold out. So, I did another little capsule, and it sold out. All sudden I had a brand. In the middle of this a kind of partner showed up, who knew about the business and how to manage all the production side and all that. So, we partnered, and it’s been going pretty seriously since then. I mean, during the pandemic, I thought, ‘guys we need to close it! It’s never gonna’ work!’ But we have our team in Argentina which makes for pretty healthy fixed costs for the company. So, during the pandemic, we were healthy, as we didn’t have a crazy rental in New York.
FNW: So, your team is based in Buenos Aires?
SSDB: Yes, I have 14 people there, including doing the website.
FNW: So, you have a proper business?
SSDB: Yes, we have like 100 retailers. No accessories but contemporary dresses. Mostly printed. All travel inspired by different destinations. It keeps you on the holiday mode when you’re in the city, but still dressed for light meetings in everyday life or also to wear on a trip. It’s easy to pack, easy to wear and fresh.
FNW: What fabrics?
SSDB: From organic cotton to packable and mostly sustainable fabrics.
FNW: How much you invest?
SSDB: A few million. I mean without investment. With my partner, we grow the company with its own income. We began taking dividends from last year. It’s healthy and somehow, I mean with the Argentinian setup it makes it cost efficient. We are now doing this collaboration with Rossy De Palma, whom I think is incredible. We try to do an artist collaboration each year. Just for me to work with her it’s amazing. It’s fun for the team and it allows me to have a contact with my culture and my language.
FNW: Tell us about the Rossy de Palma project?
SSDB: Well, we debuted on July 8. And we will do a big Belmont Hotel launch party in Mallorca on July 23rd because Rossy is from Palma de Mallorca. Alex and I have a house there, so I’m kind of living there.
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