If you were to see a man walking down the street in a pink suit, red fedora, and impeccable shoes, you would likely think he was either a pimp, or a member of Andre 3000’s entourage. But far away from these American caricatures is a society of dapper-ly dressed men who call themselves sapeurs. Theses dapper dandies bring a Parisian flair to the Democratic Republic of Congo, where they flaunt the sophisticated, tailored–and often outrageous–styles throughout the streets of Brazaville, the country’s capitol.
Photographer Daniele Tamagni captures their style in his book, The Gentleman of Bakongo- The Importance of Being Elegant, released earlier this summer. These stylish sapeurs are renegades of society, defiantly dressing against the norm, declining political affiliation, and above all, maintaining a moral code of honor. A subject of Tamagni’s book said this:
I dress like a sapeur because the sapeur is a good reflection of God. We respect other people, we don’t like war, we like peace, and we have a moral code that is very Christian.
If stylish-ness is next to Godliness, these couture kings are near saints.