CONGO // Dressed to the Nines: Sapeurism and the Congo Dandies // Creating a new reputation for both Congolese capitals, Sapeurism is a recent fashion movement that has seen Brazzaville and Kinshasa become peppered with über-stylish and colourful suits. We investigate this surprising trend. // Continue reading: http://theculturetrip.com/africa/congo/articles/dressed-to-the-nines-sapeurism-and-the-congo-dandies/
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"Sapeurs, a subculture of extraordinarily dressed dandies from the Congo. In the midst of their war-torn slums, these men dress in tailored suits, elegantly smoke on their pipes and stroll the impoverished streets in immaculate footwear. Dandyism or sapologie in this case, is not a fashion trend. In some of the farthest corners of the earth where true dandyism exists, it serves as something closer to a religion; a code of living". Read the full article.
In this country in west-central Africa, these young dandies – also known as ”les Parisiens” – are a cultural affront to people of the older generation, who speak of ”authenticity,” anti-colonialism and Marxism. For the sapeur, the only ”ism” to follow is narcissism. And his manifesto is the society pages of glossy French-language publications like Africa Elite and Jeune Afrique.