Sofia Sanchez de Betak is known for being an international jet-setter. But for her very first ready-to-wear collection, Chufy, she looked home to Argentina for inspiration. “It’s very gaucho, with a twist,” is how she describes it. “There's many types of gaucho looks across Argentina. It's never the same attire for any gaucho—each area has its own iconic style—and that's what makes them so unique. For my collection I did a selection of my favorite pieces and reinterpreted them, trying to find the right balance between countryside and city style.” Wondering where the name Chufy comes from? “It's a childhood nickname,” Sanchez de Betak explains. “We had four Sofias in my class, so we all had to get nicknames! Mine comes from sofia sofi chofi chufy! ”
During her travels, the chic nomad has discovered local artisans around the world. Each season of Chufy will focus on the culture and artisanship of other destinations, modernizing their traditions, with Japan and Kenya in the pipeline. The debut collection will exclusively premiere at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City on June 1st with a special pop-up. “There's no one better than them in this city,” Sanchez de Betak says. “Imagine what an honor for a girl who came from Buenos Aires with just a dream, to now be launching my own line at the one and only Bergdorf Goodman!”
Sanchez de Betak describes her dream customer as “an adventurer with an insatiable urge for exploring and enjoying! I’m designing for myself, and for the woman who looks for style beyond trends, for the woman who buys for experiences, not for seasons, for the person who enjoys wearing something that reminds her of a place close to her heart, a moment that is unique to her.” Her favorite piece in the collection is the poncho vest. “It's warm and fresh, perfect for traveling and goes well with everything,” says Sanchez de Betak.
As Chufy’s Founder and Creative Director, Sanchez de Betak worked with Argentinian artisans and designers to create the debut line of ready-to-wear clothing, jewelry, and accessories, putting a modern spin on classics from her homeland. “I worked with contemporary designers as well as poli boot makers, to separate myself from the super traditional and classic,” she says. “I changed the typical materials—I did gaucho pants in linen instead of gabardine, I added hand embroideries to ruanas, and I made pinchos into vests. I hate to see certain crafts getting lost in time, or classic shops becoming irrelevant just because they are not doing any marketing. So I scouted around, did my research, and worked with people that inspired me and knew their crafts.”
Sanchez de Betak commissioned artisan Mercedes Guiraldes to hand embroider pants with birds and flowers synonymous with Argentina, and embroider the back of the Ruanas with Sanchez de Betak’s take on the Argentinian crest. For the gaucho pant, she worked with Aux Charpentier, a classic shop that opened its doors in 1888, renowned for their quality and craftsmanship. “Aux Charpentiers are the oldest gaucho pant makers in Buenos Aires, a completely family ran business, and as traditional as it gets,” she says. “Paisana Güiraldes is an artist specializing in embroideries, among the best in the country, and it was really fruitful to collaborate with her. Giribet is one of the only family ran polo boots factories in the city, and their work is beautiful. I have had their boots for years and despite having been immersed in river water countless times while riding, they still look impeccable. ”