Les Sapeurs get their name from ‘Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes‘ – or alternatively from the English version, ‘Society for the Advancement of People of Elegance‘, and sapology is more than a look, it is (as one might expect in a Francophone society) a philosophy espoused by its exponents. Despite the poverty in the society in Brazzaville, Congo (or perhaps as a reaction to it) they aim for an elegance and style that is based on an idealised tradition of the English dandy, although sometimes allied with a flamboyant use of colour that would seldom be imaginable in our duller clime.
Many of the finely tailored suits are – at great expense, sometimes involving years of saving – from Saville Row and leading French and Italian designers – and are complemented by hats, shoes, ties, carefully folded and displayed handkerchiefs and gloves, along with cigars (seldom actually smoked) and pipes.
a remarkable group of men from the Congo whose lifestyle choice is that of a simple philosophy: to defy circumstance and live with a joie de vivre. Their title, Sapeurs, stands for Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes (the Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People). Their look and their style defines them, not what they do for work or where the live.
Being a Sapeur is about creativity, bright colours, being bold, standing out, and taking inspiration from everywhere you can.