Blog

FASHION IN THE DRC (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO)

Posted by Ange on February 25, 2014 at 8:50 AM

Bold, Bright and Brilliant; just a few words to describe the stunning prints and fabrics used in creating Congolese fashion.

 


 

(Picture by Lisa Clarke)

 

Unlike Western trends, Congolese styles are created to stand out from the crowd, making use of both vibrant hues and striking prints, reflecting African culture.

 

Traditionally Congolese clothing is centred on the wearing of colourful materials referred to as ‘Liputa’. These types of fabrics are worn by both men and women, and can more often than not be found at the local market. They are usually cut into strips from two to six yards in length, and to complete the look are typically worn with a complementing headscarf.

 

‘Liputa’ are sometimes also designed for different purposes, and aimed at certain audiences, for example paying tribute to a leader, marking a special occasion or at a sporting event.

 


 

(Picture by LA BELLE KITOKO)

 

SAPOLOGY

 

Moving away from the wearing of the more traditional Liputa, the 1970’s witnessed a new sub-culture emerging on the streets of Kinshasa known as ‘Les Sapeurs’. ‘Les Sapeurs’ or ‘Sapologists’ refer to a group of dapper looking Congolese gentlemen who dedicate their time and money to dressing strikingly, yet elegantly well.

 

WHERE DID SAPOLOGY ORGINIATE?

 

One of the founders of Sapeur movement and a highly respected figure amongst the Sapeur community is Strevos Niarcos, who sadly died just over 9 years ago. Niarcos strongly promoted, and was deemed by many as the “Father of Sapology”.

 

To this day Sapeurs continue to gather at his graveside in Gombe cemetery in Kinshasa, sporting their most extreme outfits to mark the passing of a highly influential character.

 


 

(Sapeurs gather at Niarcos graveside 10th Feb 2014 picture by Daily Nation)

 

Papa Wemba, first and foremost a talented musician (co-founder of orchestra Zaïko Langa Langa, along with his own group Viva La Musica) also played a vital role in popularising Sapology in the DRC. Having travelled to Europe on many occasions to promote his groups and to perform, Papa Wemba was particularly influenced by European fashion, culture and sense of style.

 


 

(Papa Wemba Picture by Radiookapi @Flickr )

 

A short while after Independence in DRC however, President Mobutu imposed an Authenticity campaign suppressing the freedom of citizens to express themselves through the medium of fashion. Mobuto forced all citizens of the DRC to adhere to the new rules, which forbid the wearing of westernised clothing. This encouraged Wemba to rebel against the majority, and promote Sapeur beliefs through his organisation the Société Ambianceurs et Persons Élégants (The Society for the Advancement of Elegant People thus 'S.A.P.E' for short). Wemba and his group challenged dress code, opposing ‘Re-Africanisation’, bringing Sapology to the forefront of his band and society.

 

The flamboyant Sapeurs have become a part of Congolese culture, and can be seen on a daily basis strutting along on the streets of Kinshasa, as well as neighbouring Congo Brazzaville. These well respected trendsetters have made it across Africa entering into fashion wars with one another in view of gaining the title of “The Best Sapeur in the world”.

 

Sapology has also managed to cross the Mediterranean onto the wider Congolese diaspora (Congo-Kinshasa and Congo Brazzavile) living across the world. In the early 80s and 90s, Belgian and French Medias talked a lot about this phenomenon, following Sapeurs on shopping trips and featuring special programmes on TV to talk about Sapology. Today, Sapology can also be seen on our TV screens here in the UK thanks to the infamous Guinness Advert, featuring Sapeurs from Congo Brazzaville; bringing a bit of this peculiar phenomenon to Britain:

 

[

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

]

 

RULES OF SAPOLOGY

 

Being a Sapeur is much more than just wearing the latest fashion. For most, it is a way of life, a code, even going as far to say a religion. Just as with all religions, in order to be considered a true Sapeur, one must adhere to a certain set of rules, conventions and ideologies.

 

As a general rule all Sapeurs should aim to be polite and abide by the law. They should also be well dressed, fragranced and groomed, wear designer clothes, and sport a clean cut hair design. The aforementioned are the necessary ingredients to being a true Sapeur, however these criteria may vary slightly depending on individual style or preference and even which Congo you are from!

 

Those Sapeurs from Congo Brazzaville in particular tend to stick to wearing no more than three colours/tones at once, excluding white. For them, pocket handkerchiefs are not folded, however stuffed into the blazer pocket effortlessly. Brazzaville Sapeurs prefer to match and accessorise with canes, cigars, umbrellas, scarves, socks suspenders you name it!

 

On the contrary Kinshasa Sapeurs have a tendency to be more garish and daring. For them the more colour clashing there is the better. Sapeurs from the DRC are known for standing out from the crowd with one of the favourite designers being Yohji-Yamamoto, who is known for his bright costumes.

 

During fashion battles most Sapeurs often open their suit jackets abruptly and stomp in an authoritative manner in order to show which brand/label they are wearing. Sapeurs also like to show off their shoes, most of which are usually J.M. Weston, a high-priced French shoemaker.

 

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

 

CONGOLESE FASHION TODAY

 

Today, there are many new designers on the scene. Mamie Kapend, a young fashion designer who moved to Chicago (USA) from the DRC being one of them. Thanks to Kapend, founder of YaSika Mode which translates as “The latest fashion” and others like her, western societies have been able to experience the beautiful, authentic prints and styles that the DRC has to offer.

 

Mamie Kapend whose collection boasts a blend of African patterns and prints mixed with modern lines, cuts and shapes, also, like Wemba, talks of being influenced by her travels across various cities in Europe, Canada and Africa. She explains however that her collection is a symbol of ‘multiculturalism’ offering an “elegant and modern look at African textiles”. Her pieces are created to embody a sense of “Confidence and Elegance”.

 

Kapend made her Debut at Kinshasa fashion week in 2012 and will be opening her online store later this year: www.yasikamode.com


 

IS FASHION/ SAPOLOGY AFFECTING CONGOLESE SOCIETY?

 

We are increasingly seeing more and more of the traditional African/Congolese “Liputa” being adapted to suit western style on the High Street, especially here in the UK. However, in the DRC and neighbouring Congo, dressing traditionally has almost become a thing of the past. Traditional forms of dress are being pushed out, and increasingly substituted by Westernised fashions. Aspiring Congolese author Phillipe Rufano explains that the youth of today are in a sense being brainwashed by popular music, and subcultures, stemming from movements such as Papa Wemba’s S.A.P.E. He states that sadly nowadays a large proportion of the younger generation tend to want to follow western society, forgetting about traditions such as the wearing of the Liputa. He explains that even on special/important occasions many of them (the youth) now tend to turn up in casual clothing. “They strive to have good money to spend on clothes rather than investing in things such as education, reading and their own future. Many are of the mentality that money and branded clothing are everything”.

 

GO SHOPPING:

 

African/Congolese prints can be found in stores such as H&M, Topshop, ASOS.com, RiverIsland and even Primark. Nowadays many African designers, with their modern twists on the traditional 'Liputa' are increasingly being featured on the catwalk; see Congo Fashion Week, Kinshasa Fashion Week and Vouge.co.uk for more.

 

You need Adobe Flash Player to view this content.

 

(Even Solange Knowles (Beyonce's sister) is a fan of the Liputa print and Les Sapeurs!)

 

Want to know more about Congolese fashion? Check out some of the links below featuring up and coming designers, Congolese fashion blogs and more…

 


Links:

 

Congo Fashion Week

 

Congo Fashion House

 

Kinshasa Fashion Week

 

Deolasagoe Fashion Blog

 

La Belle Kitoko

 

ARTICLE WRITTEN ON BEHALF OF THE LISAPO CONGOLESE HERITAGE PROJECT AT C.A.N- Community Arts North West).

 

 

 

Categories: Fashion News , Whats trending, Cool Stuff

Post a Comment

Oops!

Oops, you forgot something.

Oops!

The words you entered did not match the given text. Please try again.

Already a member? Sign In

128 Comments

Reply Helenrig
7:36 PM on May 20, 2018 
Revolutional update of SEO/SMM software "XRumer 16.0 + XEvil 4.0":
captcha solution of Google (ReCaptcha-2 and ReCaptcha-3), Facebook, BitFinex, Bing, Hotmail, SolveMedia, Yandex,
and more than 8400 another subtypes of captcha,
with highest precision (80..100%) and highest speed (100 img per second).
You can use XEvil 4.0 with any most popular SEO/SMM programms: iMacros, XRumer, GSA SER, ZennoPoster, Srapebox, Senuke, and more than 100 of other programms.

Interested? You can find a lot of demo videos about XEvil in YouTube.

FREE DEMO AVAILABLE!

Good luck!
Reply Melissaaroft
1:27 PM on March 29, 2018 
url=https://alitems.com/g/1e8d1144947cf271b95a16525dc3e8/ says...
Aliexpress
- your star sales...
Reply Ohzsugyz
12:27 PM on March 29, 2018 
En este sentido, ha detallado que la ruptura con el Estado se concreta en partidas presupuestarias p.000 habitantes de Mukalla pidieron a los yihadistas que no batallaran para evitar daños en la ciudad.También ha liderado otros proyectos de gestión y su expansión internacional.
url=https://www.amazon.com/YEAHCOOL-Casual-Unisex-Fashion-Baseba
ll/dp/B078TZNZWS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520934879&sr=8-1&keyword
s=yeahcool says...

baseball caps for men

url=https://www.amazon.com/YEAHCOOL-Casual-Unisex-Fashion-Baseba
ll/dp/B078TZNZWS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520934879&sr=8-1&keyword
s=yeahcool says...

baseball cap for women

url=https://www.amazon.com/YEAHCOOL-Casual-Unisex-Fashion-Baseba
ll/dp/B078TZNZWS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520934879&sr=8-1&keyword
s=yeahcool says...

baseball caps for men stylish

No en vano, muchos de estos desempleados son parados de larga duración y llevan más de dos años sin una actividad remunerada.o en más de un 80% de la tasa del agua obliga a los vecinos a asumir un coste de 322.
Territoriales, con las miras puestas en las mínimas para los Campeonatos de España.
alones A puerta0 Balones Al palo0 Faltas Cometidas0 Faltas Recibidas0 Tarjetas Amarillas0 Tarjetas Rojas0 Pases Correctos0 Pases Fallados0CENTROS Al ?REA0 PARADAS0 GOLES0Remates A puerta5 Remates Al palo1Remates Fuera9 ASISTENCIAS1 Balones A puerta10 Balones Al palo1 Faltas Cometidas10 Faltas Recibidas15 Tarjetas Amarillas2 Tarjetas Rojas0 Pases Correctos597 Pases Fallados714CENTROS Al ?REA0 PARADAS2 cerrar27Iv?n VillarPorteroEstatura y peso: 1.
Reply JohnnyStulk
4:29 PM on March 24, 2018 
url=https://sooop.io says...
okpay rub
- perfect money advanced cash, обменник advanced cash.
Reply Kiqpdkxf
12:05 AM on March 22, 2018 
Rivera garantiza que si Ciudadanos es «decisivo» tras el 26-J, «habrá Gobierno».uo;desmilitarización» son los próximos retos1s://vimeo/2121467072Juan?n: ?Estamos m?s cerca de la Champions?3El autismo y la eterna espera4Procesi?n de La Dolorosa5Con dislexia a la universidad6Silv?n cede el testigo a Majo y cree que es el mejor candidato para el PP7Deberes hechos, y con nota8Fervor y pasi?n9Se visten de plata10Heridas que no cicatrizanTemas SomaliaTAGSveintiocho, muertos, heridos, asalto, shabaab, hotel, mogadiscioDeja tu comentario.ado de la Audiencia Nacional, comenzaron las presiones de Pineda a través de su revista 'Mercado de Dinero' y de sus intervenciones muy críticas en RNE.
url=http://pharmacy.md/default.asp?Zapatillas=historia-de-nike-h
uarache says...

historia de nike huarache

url=http://www.paulmaxparis.com/index.asp?Zapatillas=jordan-retr
o-v says...

jordan retro v


Por provincias el mayor número de defunciones se ha registrado en León, con 6.Llegó la ola de frío, la masa de aire de origen siberiano que ha entrado en la pen&iac.
Chapecó comulgó el sábado en la emoción para despedir a sus futbolistas .

sitemap:http://pharmacy.md/rss.xml
Reply Yksyclbw
9:12 AM on March 21, 2018 
Pareció una ejecución, honestamente.50 puntos a Donald Trump entre los hispanosTrump insinúa que Clinton se droga y la acusa de «envenenar las mentes»Obama advierte sobre Trump: «La democracia está en juego» en EE UUEn una conferencia de prensa en los jardines de la Casa Blanca junto al primer ministro italiano, Matteo Renzi, Obama sorprendió al no ahorrar críticas contra el republicano Trump, que en los últimos días ha asegurado en varias ocasiones que habrá fraude en los comicios presidenciales en favor de su rival demócrata Hillary Clinton.Será la demostración de que quiere cumplir el pacto y de que quiere encontrar apoyos para la investidura, ha incidido.
url=http://pharmacy.md/default.asp?Zapatillas=nike-air-max-90-x-
360 says...

nike air max 90 x 360

url=http://pharmacy.md/default.asp?Zapatillas=zapatillas-nike-ai
r says...

zapatillas nike air


«Al igual que Europa es un espacio del libre circulación de personas y mercancía.aacute;nica del Poder Judicial del 21 de julio de 2015 que entró en vigor el 1 de octubre de 2015, la competencia para los concursos de las personas naturales no empresarios ha pasado a corresponder a los Juzgados de Primera Instancia y de Primera Instancia e Instrucción, por lo que la evolución interanual se debe calcular sumando el número de concursos presentados en estos Juzgados -5 en el segundo trimestre de 2016- con los presentados en los Juzgados de lo Mercantil.
uskadi protagonizaron esta carrera que ganó Gonzalo Serrano, compañero de Pablo Benito en el Caja Rural.

sitemap:http://www.professionallearn.com/rss.xml
Reply Mmqvbppi
8:53 AM on March 21, 2018 
Por otro lado, los rebeldes fueron acusados este domingo de haber esparcido gas tóxico, seg.El Gobierno de Australia ha anunciado hoy nuevas restricciones a las cadenas de comida rápida.Por el contrario, subió en Chipre (del 13,1% al 14,1%); Italia (del 11,6% al 11,9%) y Dinamarca (del 6,0% al 6,2%).
url=https://www.amazon.com/YEAHCOOL-Casual-Unisex-Fashion-Baseba
ll/dp/B078TZNZWS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520934879&sr=8-1&keyword
s=yeahcool says...

baseball caps for men

url=https://www.amazon.com/YEAHCOOL-Casual-Unisex-Fashion-Baseba
ll/dp/B078TZNZWS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520934879&sr=8-1&keyword
s=yeahcool says...

baseball cap for women

url=https://www.amazon.com/YEAHCOOL-Casual-Unisex-Fashion-Baseba
ll/dp/B078TZNZWS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1520934879&sr=8-1&keyword
s=yeahcool says...

baseball caps for men stylish

Los consumidores, como los invitados de anoche del Club de Catas de El Norte de Castilla, tienen m&a.014, cuando (podría decirse que) gracias a los ingresos del Impuesto de Patrimonio el déficit público bajó del 1,8% al 1,1%del PIB autonómico.
ma posición con un importante colchón de puntos con respecto al descenso.

sitemap:http://www.professionallearn.com/rss.xml
Reply Judsonemiff
8:08 AM on March 13, 2018 
цветущий ресурс https://maglid.ru/nashivki-leibly-shevrony.html
Reply Elmerquinc
5:23 AM on February 18, 2018 
What exactly is good website to look at Fifty Shades Freed on-line : Measure to enjoy or AcquireFifty Shades Freed:

# It's also simple and easy movies to gain access to
# You can just click here over to look out this particular dvd movie
# This approach roll film could be very superior quality along with basic accredited you'll be able to get a hold of or maybe check out: Really stick to the url under
# Experience viewing along with enjoying yourselves

URL=https://fiftyshadesfreedfull.com/ says...
Fifty Shades Freed Full Movie

URL=https://fiftyshadesfreedfull.com/ says...
Fifty Shades Freed 2018

URL=https://fiftyshadesfreedfull.com/ says...
Fifty Shades Freed Full Movie

URL=https://fiftyshadesfreedfull.com/ says...
Fifty Shades Freed Download

URL=https://fiftyshadesfreedfull.com/ says...
Fifty Shades Freed Full Movie

URL=https://fiftyshadesfreedfull.com/ says...
Fifty Shades Freed Online

URL=https://fiftyshadesfreedfull.com/ says...
Fifty Shades Freed Full Movie

URL=https://fiftyshadesfreedfull.com/ says...
Fifty Shades Freed Full Movie Online
Reply Thomastiz
10:01 PM on February 15, 2018 
url=https://buytdcp.com/buy-tadacip-20-mg/ says...
tadacip online uk
- tadacip india, buy tadacip online.
Reply JosephFrast
2:31 PM on February 15, 2018 
decent resource
url=https://mobporno.org/ says...
mobporno.org
- top porn tube sites, fresh porn tube, red tube gay porn.
Reply RodneyUrity
8:15 PM on February 8, 2018 
Каждый подросток задает себе вопрос о том, что нужно сделать, чтобы пройти тест ЕГЭ на высокие балы. Считается, что самый высокий балл 100. Но все же система российского образования все таки отдает предпочтение тестовой системе, поэтому смело можно говорить о том, что такой тест это своеродная лотерея. Читайте об этом подробнее на сайте
url=https://astrakhan.net says...
astrakhan.net
Reply RobertTew
1:41 AM on February 3, 2018 
url=https://dumpsmania24.com says...
buy cc shop
- buy dumps 201, buy cc.
Reply WayneGrini
9:05 PM on February 2, 2018 
url=https://justiceleaguefullonline.org/ says...
Justice League full movie
,
url=https://justiceleaguefullonline.org/ says...
https://justiceleaguefullonline.org/

url=https://justiceleagueffullmovie.net/ says...
Justice League full movie
,
url=https://justiceleagueffullmovie.net/ says...
https://justiceleagueffullmovie.net/
Reply Стиральные машины
5:05 AM on January 26, 2018 
Друзья! ВНИМАНИЕ!!!! эти ребята продают вам бу стиральные машины в Краснодаре!
Обманули мою маму пенсионерку!
их стиеральные машин!!!! не покупайтеу у них стиральные машины!!!
url=https://www.ruspechka.com/katalog-tovarov/ says...
купить стиральную машину бу в Краснодаре

url=https://www.ruspechka.com/dvercy-topochnye says...
Продажа стиральных маин бу в Краснодаре



https://www.ruspechka.com/kopiya-uslugi-pechnika

https://www.ruspechka.com/plity-chugunnye

https://www.ruspechka.com/about_as

http://ruspechka.com/copya-o-nas

https://www.ruspechka.com/katalog-tovarov

https://www.ruspechka.com/kirpich-ogneupornyj

http://ruspechka.com/dvercy-topochnye

https://www.ruspechka.com/dvercy-kaminnye

https://www.ruspechka.com/kazan

https://www.ruspechka.com/smesi-dlya-pechej-i-kaminov
обман и мошенничество
Reply Fastest Payday Loan
5:10 PM on January 23, 2018 
cash til payday loans personal loan no credit check personal loan no credit check
url=http://loansnocreditcheck.us.com says...
no teletrack payday loan companies
Reply Getting A Loan
12:49 PM on January 22, 2018 
2600 installment loans in california loans no credit check quick loans no credit check
url=http://loansnocreditcheck.us.com says...
credit check loans
Reply JeffreywaH
12:19 PM on January 22, 2018 
url=https://cardswm.com/ says...
оплатить на webmoney картой
- купить карту вебмани, webmoney карты.
Reply KennethJaids
11:52 AM on January 17, 2018 
suitable site
url=https://ccfullzshop.com/ says...
online cc shop
Reply Williamfem
11:09 PM on January 12, 2018 
pharmacy without dr prescriptions
url=http://v1agrawithoutprescript.com/# says...
viagra without a doctor prescription
viagra without prescription http://v1agrawithoutprescript.com/

Oops! This site has expired.

If you are the site owner, please renew your premium subscription or contact support.