Now this looks like it’d be an interesting read and I love these images. Daniele Tamagni wonders into the world of Congo’s fashion elite, the Sapeurs.
These sapeurs are the male equivalent of a fashionista (Fashiomista maybe?) and Gentleman of Bakongo, looks at the intriguing world of these designer clad gentlemen.
Check out the following book blurb from Amazon:
The arrival of the French and Belgians to the Congo, at the beginning of the 20th Century, brought along the myth of Parisian elegance among the Congolese youth working for the colonialists.
In 1922, G.A. Matsoua was the first ever Congolese to return from Paris fully clad as an authentic French gentleman, which caused great uproar and much admiration amongst his fellow countrymen. He was the first Grand Sapeur.
The Sapeurs today belong to Le SAPE (Société des Ambianceurs et Persons Élégants )- one of the world’s most exclusive clubs…. They are also after their own great dream: to travel to Paris and to return to Bakongo as lords of elegance…
Unlike some US hip-hop gangs who are dressed in similar fine threads, there is no bloodshed here, here your clothes do all the fighting for you, otherwise you are not fit to be called a Sapeur.