The community of elegant people: a photo essay about stylists from the Congo
Categories: FashionBy Pictolic https://pictolic.com/en/article/the-community-of-elegant-people-a-photo-essay-about-stylists-from-the-congo
Photo report by Francesco Giusti about members of the SAPE community (Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes - Community of Elegant people) from the Republic of the Congo.
Even during the war in the capital of the Republic of the Congo, Brazzaville, the SAPE society did not cease to exist. With the arrival of the French in the Congo at the beginning of the twentieth century, the local youth serving the settlers learned what elegance is. In 1922, Andre Grenard Matsoua, known for his beliefs against settlers, was the first Congolese to return from Paris dressed as a real French "monsignor" — and was enthusiastically received by fellow citizens.
Today, SAPE members consider themselves artists, they are respected and admired by the whole community.
"SAPE is an art that has nothing to do with the amount of money a person has. This is the ability to achieve harmony and choose color combinations."
Within the framework of this dress code, self-production of clothes, the choice of the right accessories, as well as the desire to be unique and unrepeatable are welcome.
The members of SAPE, with their elegant clothes and impeccable style, make the miserable reality surrounding them a little more attractive.
Each of the members of the society has its own unique set of gestures that distinguishes it from others.
Elegance is not their only characteristic feature. First of all, every member of SAPE is a gentleman and a pacifist.
Every weekend, members of the society wearing funny and unusual nicknames gather in bars and fashionable discos or parade through the streets to the admiring glances of children and the applause of passers-by.
These impromptu parades express the hope that soon nonviolence and elegance will become the norm of urban life.
They reflect the desire of young people to feel like members of society.