The Le Sape outshine women’s fashion by far.
In the Congo, circa today, a mixture of Congolese and French fashion collide creating a dynamic group of couture men called the Le Sape, short for Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes, or the Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People. Men blend neon colours with classic styles; blend the oppressor with the oppressed. This is not only a fashion statement for them. It is a way of life where etiquette and ethics dominate the threads more than the brand. Mind you, there are rules to follow regarding colour and shape of the whole ensemble. Le Sape, no doubt, knows how drink a cup of tea with more refinery than a French magistrate or a debutante.
They are contrasting high-class with poverty, not something unknown in third world countries or cultures who invent their own fashion sense despite the surroundings, but Le Sape are unique in their own right. Non-violent with strong religious convictions, Le Sape embody a fashion forward group with advanced thinking; an amalgam of what Africa is today.
Perhaps if you still aren’t familiar with them, I’m sure that a review of the famous Solange Knowles video “Losing You” will spark a memory (director Melina Matsoukas) where she parades down Cape Town in couture from head to toe while basking amongst Le Sape.