Photography / Brazzaville's Sapeurs


Great series of photographs by Italian Francesco Giusti of purveyors of “le sape,” the fashion-obsessed La Societe des Ambianceurs et Personnes Elegantes, or the society of atmosphere setters and elegant people, something found among Congolese (both in France and Belgium and on both sides of the Congo River).




Sean Jacobs

Also goes by Hasan Wazan. Life President.

  1. Sean – You know how to pick them. Great stuff as always. About 6 years ago I watched a contest between the Swenkas and Les Sapeurs in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. It was a blowout: the Swenkas in their more muted style didn't stand a chance. This year at the same competition it was a closer contest. The Swenkas have have become more influenced by the brighter colors and the more extravagant style of Les Sapeurs. This is a trend I've observed in urban South African fashion over the last decade as immigrants from other parts of Africa begin to make their presence felt, despite the rampant xenophobia.

  2. Ekapa: Do the Swenkas and the Sapeurs compete annually in Hillbrow? And is there a certain time of year/month/day this occurs? I ask because I am actually am quite fascinated by the Sape movement (so much so that I am working on it in my graduate work right now) and am planning on heading to South Africa for research this coming year. While I am familiar with where sapeurs hang in France, I am not very familiar with where they tend to be in South Africa. And it would be wonderful to catch a contest such as this when I am in South Africa!

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