SAPE Kings


- 15/06/2016 -

Born in Congo in the 1960s, SAPE is the fashion movement that revolutionized men's clothing in Africa. Symbolizing the Society of Ambianceurs and Elegant People (SAPE), it goes beyond the clothing aspect. Hygiene, gait and wardrobe, everything goes through it.

The Sappers are distinguished by their colourful suits, impeccably polished shoes and a swaying gait. Their outfits are often complemented by original accessories such as a cane, a pipe or an umbrella.

Daniele Tamagni - Gentlemen of Bacongo
Daniele Tamagni - Gentlemen of Bacongo
Daniele Tamagni - Gentlemen of Bacongo

To meet the Sapeurs, go to the districts of Brazzaville as well as to Château d'Eau in the heart of Paris.

In addition to being a passion for its followers, it served as a tool of rebellion against the three-piece men's outfit in the 1960s. Embodying the icon of the movement, Papa Wemba was one of the pillars of SAPE. The Congolese singer, with an international career, inspired many people to dress as an elegant dandy all over the world. A lover of fashion and a fan of the creations of the greatest designers, the "SAPE King" made a weekly television appearance, displaying himself in a chic outfit. As the weeks went by, a large community of sappers was created. Photographer Daniele Tamagni immortalized the world of sappers in his photo project "Gentlemen of Bacongo".

As a tribute to the vast African culture, LAPS has edited two models to celebrate the country.