The worth of the man inside: Sapeurs of Congo

sapeurs of congo

Sapeurs, are members of the SAPE (Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes/Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People) and have emerged in African as diasporic communities over the past 25 years. Often read as a post-colonial take on the European dandies of the late 18th and 19th century, this subculture made up of mostly young men, drape themselves in elegant sharp attire, creating flamboyant identities for themselves through their brightly colored suits, and luxurious swagger.

Sapeurs emerged out of a movement called la SAPE, which stands for La Societé des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes, that was originally inspired by a 1960s Pop Star by the name of Papa Wemba who wanted to stray from the traditional Congolese attire.

GUINNESS’ new ad features the ‘society of elegant persons of the Congo’ otherwise known as the ‘Sapeurs’, a group of everyday heroes from Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo. In this ad, GUINNESS follows the Sapeurs whose way of life is a testament to the belief of putting more in, to get more out. Their life is not defined by occupation or wealth, but by respect, a moral code and an inspirational display of flair and creativity. This is demonstrated through their love of stylish dressing; but it is not the fabric or cost of the suit that counts, it is the worth of the man inside it.

“In life, you cannot always choose what you do, but you can always choose who you are.” -Sapeurs of Congo.



Corey Knight

Founder of A&H Group.