The Sapeurs


Let’s ignore for a minute that I’m about to show you a Guinness commercial because that is totally secondary to the fact that the group of men in it are the flyest cats in the Congo.

Meet the “Sapeurs” of the Congo – a society of elegantly dressed men whose philosophy is to “defy circumstance and live with joie de vivre.”  For them, the clothes are about peace and respect; about style, not fashion; about changing the stereotypes of Africa.  As one Sapeur put it, “You colonized us, but we dress better than you.”  SNAPPPP!

They wear pastel suits, kilts, fedoras – whatever keeps them looking sharp and loving life. I love the flair, the elegance, and the subtle rebellion against politics in a country that once banned Western clothing.

Here’s the short commercial, and below it a slightly longer piece about the Sapeurs.  And I’d be remiss not to include Solange Knowles’ video for “Losing You” which she shot with several Sapeurs!  I want to raid their closets.

(Photo: Baudouin Mouanda)


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