For Sofía Sánchez de Betak (Buenos Aires, Argentina, 35 years old), luxury is “freedom”. “Nature, being able to feel comfortable with what you have, living without heels and without being so produced,” she says, in what then for her has to be a luxurious setting. Chufy, as she is affectionately called, as she is known on the Internet and as her fashion firm is also called, she appears for the telematic interview far from an office in a big city, and also very far from that image of luxury, glamor and perfection which is often associated with designers and Internet stars among those who are counted. With a cup of coffee in hand, sitting on a low wall with a wooden fence behind it, she shares on the screen how the first rays of sunlight stretch the Majorcan Sierra de Tramuntana. With headphones on, she’s wearing a college-style sweatshirt, several intermixed necklaces, and a simple ponytail. That is luxury for her and her smile gives her away.
Sánchez de Betak has been one of the best-known women of Internet influencers for more than a decade. The way of dress of Argentina has been photographed and persecuted by hunters of the best street styles. Little by little, his relationship with the brands became stronger and he collaborated with fashion firms such as Valentino or Chloé, and almost five years ago he turned that idea around and got on the other side, launching his own fashion firm (called , of course, Chufy) and collaborating fruitfully with Mango.
Precisely on Monday the 17th he presents, in Mallorca and with Mango, what is his first affordable collection for the general public — his own designs are sold between 200 and 800 euros; these cost 70 or 100—. She is happy to have worked with that “family, with a lot of affinity” team. His previous major project with them took place two years ago, when in May 2019 he put himself in their hands to dress up at the New York Metropolitan Museum gala dedicated to aesthetics. camp.
But now was the time to move on and do something new together. “This collaboration was like an end point after so many works together,” he says. The collaboration has developed quickly and she has been fully involved “in the inspiration boards, patterns, morphologies, tests”. “It was only a few months, never in my life have I worked so efficiently,” he laughs. With your brand the times are longer because the prints are made in India and the process is longer, but here “everything was done at the moment”.
Something that Justicia Ruano, designer of the Catalan brand confirms. Both have worked hand in hand in this collaboration. If Sánchez speaks fondly of Ruano, stating that she is “a divine, super open, a very demanding professional”, Ruano also tells how easy it has been to work with a star. “For us it has been super easy for her, she is flexible, charming. It represents the Mediterranean values very well. Apart from that, she is a very nice person ”, says Ruano, who feared, when they began to collaborate for the Met gala, that she would be“ borderline, believed… ”. “It seemed like one more of the team, it is simple, nothing haughty. She also speaks to me in Spanish, which I don’t communicate very well in English, ”laughs the woman from Granada. Both pasted the same idea well: “a collection that makes people dream a little,” says Ruano.
For Chufy, Mallorca has been the great inspiration to create half a dozen dresses that bear his stamp: bohemian, patterned, appetizing, elegant and wearable at the same time. Chufy came to the island for the first time at the age of 17, on a teenage trip with some friends, and fell in love with the place, although at that time, she admits fun, the party prevailed more than the bohemian. But she says that when she met her husband he told her: “I’m going to take you to my town.” And he moved her to the same place where she was with her friends and where she is now, coffee in hand. “I have been here for the past 12 years, and I also travel around the Mediterranean seeing friends,” she says about her passion for this place that has inspired her. “It was natural to do it here, the most organic,” he says. So much so that even the campaign was photographed there and people from the island were hired to carry it out, something that also fits in with their idea of sustainability. “We should all produce locally,” he argues, holding that cup that he has brought from home to be served coffee in town (“they’ll see me like a madwoman,” he laughs) and that has been created by hand by a potter. And that’s how her collection came about, which fit with her and with what the brand was looking for. “She has decided what stayed and what not, at the end of the label is her name,” says Ruano.
Both Sofía and her husband, Alexandre de Betak, are in love with the place, with its beaches that are not always easily accessible, with its jellyfish, with its way of life. So much so that his daughter, Sakura, was born there three and a half years ago and has now been enrolled in a school on the island: “I prefer a school with the mountains on one side and the sea on the other.” They have settled on the island, leaving behind Paris, where they spent confinement, or New York, where they have lived for years. “And I was a fan of New York,” she recalls, “but at this point in my life I can’t understand how I could have been there so long.” De Betak is a designer for designers: he shapes catwalks, creates the dreamlike fantasies of couturiers and brands seen on the catwalk. And he created the house in Mallorca where they are now installed.
From their new home they try to restart their lives, their projects paralyzed by the pandemic, which touched them closely. Alexandre passed the coronavirus at the beginning of March 2020, when there was hardly any information or means. “He was in bed for almost two weeks. I got really depressed. My parents work in tourism, my husband in events, I thought we were going to close the brand, that there were many families who had nothing to bring to the table ”, she says. Now, after the worst, the woman who one day even made a book with the Assouline publishing house, takes up everything she has on her hands. He wants to start up some solidarity tourist packages to travel to Myanmar and at the same time collaborate with an orphanage, a project that the pandemic paralyzed. And she continues with her collection, “proud of her and of giving work”. Always thinking about what to do next. “Because although I would love to be a Buddhist, it is good to live many lives in one in case we do not have another,” he jokes.