ALL WRAPPED UP: The Luxury Collection Hotels & Resorts has recruited Sofia Sanchez de Betak to launch a capsule collection.
Thirty-plus styles will be featured in the Chufy x The Luxury Collection when it debuts next month at Bergdorf Goodman, The Webster, FiveStory and other international outposts. Known as “Chufy,” the Buenos Aires-born, New York-based art director and fashion consultant was literally on-the-go walking in New York during a phone interview Tuesday.
De Betak chatted enthusiastically despite a near run-in with an electric skateboarder, “a taxi driver fighting with a lady” and a messenger in search of directions. Having visited Japan three times in the past year, she quickly became a fan of the kimonos that were waiting in her hotel rooms upon arrival at the The Prince Gallery in Tokyo and the Suiran in Kyoto. Her new line for The Luxury Collection reinterprets classic styles and prints in “a more personal, upbeat and lively way.”
Generally not in the same place for more than two or three weeks at a time, she eased up on the travel a bit after the birth of her baby, Sakura, a name inspired by the Japanese word for cherry blossom. “Hold on. I actually have an app that tracks the countries where you have been. So this year I have been to the U.S., France, Spain, Morocco [and] the U.K. since the baby was born in January. I’m going to Mexico and Argentina next week,” she said. “I keep active. I like traveling. My family work in tourism and I have always been drawn to travel.”
De Betak is hopeful her designs will be versatile. “Normally when I travel I tend to shop the most. You get the urge and also you have all this excitement about being on holiday. It’s so good to be off and exploring. It also feels like a discovery when you find something when you travel. But many times you get too excited and just buy many things that you will never wear again after the trip,” she said, adding that a Kenyan-inspired collection will be the next capsule, followed by a Marrakech-inspired one. There is also a charitable component to each collection through alliances with Olivela and GlobalGiving.
Two members of de Betak’s team are now working from her apartment so she can spend more time with her baby. Her husband, Alexandre de Betak, tries to schedule all of his meetings at home. But after 7 p.m., they try to disconnect “to just talk about food, the baby or family – or have movie time,” she said.
Jessica Hart, Olivia Palermo, Carlos Mota and Diane von Furstenberg were among the guests at Tuesday night’s launch at The Webster. De Betak also dreamed up all sorts of surprises and design touches like lanterns for a private dinner at another location afterward. “It was a lot of work but hopefully it’s going to be memorable,” she said.