Sofia Sanchez de Betak (aka, Chufy) is a Buenos Aires born, Paris based Art Director, Influencer and Fashion Consultant. Sofia has been named among the ten most influential women in Argentina, together with the country’s First Lady and the Vice-President. Sofia has long had a passion for travel and for fashion, with Chufy she brings the two together, offering a cosmopolitan, bohemian and luxurious wardrobe. Sofia has collaborated with several magazines and brands working on special projects and she has often served as a brand ambassador. Chanel, Valentino, Chloe, Roger Vivier, Vogue and Conde Nast Traveller to name but a few of her collaborations. Sofia lives between Paris and Mallorca with her husband, art director and celebrated fashion show designer Alexandre de Betak and their daughter.
'I believe in human equality, I despise injustice, I dream and work for a better and more sustainable planet for my daughter and for generations to come. I encourage independent thinking and individuality. Hopefully by putting these values out there, I inspire some people to ask themselves questions that perhaps they haven’t yet. ' Sofia Sanchez de Betak
STIL: You grew up in Buenos Aires. What fond memories do you have of this time?
SSDB: Growing up in Buenos Aires was lovely, it is a big cosmopolitan city, but surrounded by incredible nature. We would spend every other weekend in the countryside, riding horses, swimming in rivers, and playing cards.
STIL: In Argentina you have been named one of the 10 most influential women in the country. What value does that hold for you?
SSDB: I don’t consider myself someone of influence, I rarely speak to the camera, or encourage people to take my views as theirs, but I do enjoy having a platform to share my beliefs. I believe in human equality, I despise injustice, I dream and work for a better and more sustainable planet for my daughter and for generations to come. I encourage independent thinking and individuality. Hopefully by putting these values out there, I inspire some people to ask themselves some questions if they haven’t yet.
STIL: Do you draw inspiration for your collections from your heritage?
SSDB: We just presented our FW collection, inspired by my memories of Patagonia where I’ve spent many Summer and Winter holidays, I even got married there! It is embedded on my DNA and I’m sure it comes out in every collection I do.
STIL: You founded Chufy in 2017 - for your first collection you used local Argentine artisans. Can you tell us a little about how you source the fabrics and how important sustainability is to you?
SSDB: For our first collection we did collaborate with local artisans and designers. It was a very interesting experience, there is a lot of talent in Argentina, but it’s hard for most to get their work out on an international platform. They did an amazing job, and it helped them open doors in the northern hemisphere. Working with artists and artisans is so inspiring, collaborating to bring different visions and points of view together and come up with something different and challenging for both is so rewarding. Combining new fabrics, local raw materials and ancient craft, all with a sustainable point of view is thrilling. It’s not only about finding a sustainable fabric, it is key to finding that raw material close to your production points, otherwise shipping yards and yards of fabrics from one side of the planet to the other, to then be shipped to another, is very unsustainable and polluting.
STIL: How much does the Chufy reflect your own style, and can you share with us the inspiration behind our current collection ‘Gone Jammin’?
SSDB: It reflects my style in the sense that I never take my self too seriously, I love the high and low, being comfortable, being vibrant, having fun, wearing loose shapes to be able to move freely, dance, hike, sleep. I love visiting new places and blending in, being in harmony with my surroundings. I love arriving back from a trip and feeling like I’m still on holiday, with that high vibration and light spirit. Our latest Gone Jammin' collection was inspired by my love for music, the power of jamming, improvising, and being spontaneous, living by intuition and instinct, and of course, Jamaican history and landscapes.
STIL: It’s easy to wear most of your designs from one season to another, was this intentional?
SSDB: Yes, I believe in all time favorites, items you can wear for many years, and that carry memories, trips, and special occasions within them.
STIL: What are the core Chufy pieces every woman needs in her wardrobe?
SSDB: Short or long, buttoned, loose, 3/4 sleeved dresses, in any print. A must for every trip. And the Denis pants for both home and away.
STIL: You founded Chufy in 2017, you have a family, you run a business and being a mother is incredibly hard in itself, what motivates you?
SSDB: My family encouraged upon me a strong hard working ethic, I admire both my parents, their professional paths, and what they’ve achieved. I am now walking and building mine.
STIL: Some of the World’s most stylish and beautiful women wear Chufy - Olivia Palermo, Alicia Keys, Poppy Delevigne, Natalia Vodianova, Caroline de Maigret to name but a few, is there anyone you would particularly like to dress?
SSDB: I obviously feel very flattered when very stylish icons pick my designs, but I have to say there’s a very special feeling when I see random women on the street wearing Chufy, walking lightly, feeling effortlessly chic, vibrant and happy. If I had to choose someone to wear Chufy, it would be Rihanna, Zendaya, Rosalia, Shakira, Zoe Kravitz, Priyanka Chopra, Penelope Cruz and Jacinda Ardern, among others.
STIL: Jewellery - can you give us any tips on how to accessorise a Chufy outfit?
SSDB: I love layering gold pendant necklaces, and adding leather belts to my dresses, I tend to go for boots when I travel, short brown ones always go well with short dresses.
STIL: What does a Sunday look like in the de Betak’s household?
SSDB: My daughter starts poking on my eye at about 7am, telling me sun is out, which I try to convince her it is not enough reason to get out of bed - but that doesn’t last too long, so soon after I go prepare some breakfast. When we are in Mallorca, where we spend half the time, I like taking it easy in the mornings, and then perhaps we go for a hike and picnic in the mountains. After our picnic lunch we go home, take a long bath, have some dinner and early to bed. When we are in Paris, we tend to go to the Flea Market and bike by the river, maybe stop for some dancing by the quail, where there’s latin sessions and tango.
STIL: What is your favourite piece of music?
SSDB: Cumbia, I love latin music, most types. My body only moves with latin music.
STIL: Do you have a spiritual practice?
SSDB: I do a lot of healing sessions throughout the year, different types of spiritual practices, from soundbaths to retreats, I am really interested and focused on awakening therapies.
STIL: You were the author of Assouline’s Travels With Chufy. Here you share off-the-radar hideaways and secluded retreats - if you had to revisit just one....?
SSDB: Arroyo Verde, in Patagonia, I spent my childhood there, even celebrated one of my wedding days there, it is really special that place.
STIL: Which countries in the World have you yet to discover?
SSDB: Most! I think there’s 195 countries in the world, and I’ve probably visited 55 so far… so much yet to discover! I would love to visit Namibia and Indonesia.
STIL: What is your favourite book of all time?
SSDB: 21 Lessons of the 21st century.
STIL: Can I ask you for a style tip for Stil clients?
SSDB: Wear what makes you feel comfortable, what identifies you, what makes your true self come alive.
A huge thank you to Sofia for taking the time to talk to us. On paper she has it all: a hugely successful career, a loving family, and captivating beauty. In addition, everything we can glean about her work practices and how she ensures that they do not have an impact on the planet shows the strength of her values: her great sense of fairness and justice - and that makes her very special.