SPRING 2018 READY-TO-WEAR - CHUFY


Influencer-led brands are proliferating these days—see Attico, see Totême, see Rouje by Jeanne Damas. Sofía Sanchez de Betak, who launched her label Chufy a year ago, is a street style favorite of photographers Phil Oh and Tommy Ton, and she has a robust, engaged following on Instagram, but she earned her fashion bona fides behind the camera at agencies including Lloyd & Co., AR New York, and Laird & Partners. Those experiences taught her the ins and outs of branding, and as a result, the concept she’s come up with is quite savvy.

The Chufy collection—Chufy being de Betak’s nickname—is inspired by her travels and made in partnership with The Luxury Collection. Season one was Argentina (from whence she hails), this season is Japan, the next will by Kenya, and so on and so forth down the line. The rotating series of destination-based offerings is a way to capitalize on her love of adventure—when asked where she wants to go next, she exclaims, “everywhere.” And, even better, there’s flexibility built into the business plan. Presumably, as the label grows it will also allow her to be reactive to the market. Call it kismet, but kimonos are having a major moment.

De Betak says she came up with the idea because, though she loves to shop while traveling, she often finds that when she gets her discoveries home, the silhouette is too traditional, or the fabric is too stiff or heavy for city life. Chufy is designed to evoke the “experiential, joyful feeling you get from souvenirs,” without the drawbacks. The kimonos, nibushiki, and pajama sets now available at The Webster, Bergdorf Goodman, and MatchesFashion.com come in silk, silk-cotton blends, and cupro, and they are indeed rather light. But their real appeal lies in their lively, modern prints, including one charming motif that features an onbuhimo baby carrier—a personal nod to de Betak’s other new creation, her 3-month-old daughter.