La Sapeurs: Dandies of the Congo

After the dust of WWII had settled, Congolese soldiers brought Parisian fashions back to the Congo. This is a great example of the cultural exchange which occurs during wartime. As deplorable and devastating as war is, it does act as a vehicle for ideas, food and….fashion! It’s interesting to see how the poverty stricken regions of the Congo have acted as a natural preserve for dandy fashion.

The pride of the “la sape” (translates to “society of Ambianceurs and elegant people”) is wholly apparent, and the style of these gentlemen is undeniable. Note the confidence, the swagger, the elegance of these Sapeurs, in comparison to their dull, impoverished environment. In the midst of a dog-eared world, these Congolese dandies shine like stars– and they know it!

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