With Dandyism and men’s style blogs seeing an increased interest in the past few years it was a pleasant surprise to see Guiness featuring a group of Sapeurs in their latest ad campaign. An accompanying documentary shot by photographer Hector Mediavilla who’s book S.A.P.E. features a collection of photographs of Congo’s subculture. Sapeurism dates back to a time in history when the country under French rule, began to adopt a more Westernised clothing style. After independence the subculture grew to become more than just wearing the clothes, and Sapeurism became and still is a way of life.
Our new GUINNESS campaign features the ‘Sapeurs’, (society of elegant persons of the Congo’), a group of humble and refined people from Brazzaville, the capital of the Republic of Congo.
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.
The ‘Sapeurs’ paint with colours, textures and patterns, but it is not the fabric or cost of the suit that counts, it is the worth of the man inside it. The Sapeurs show us that whilst in life you cannot always choose your circumstances, you can always choose who you are.
Having been featured in Solange’s ‘Losing You’ and the subject matter of Daniele Tamagni’s ‘Gentlemen of Bacongo’ where I first saw them it’s nice to see them featured in a more mainstream project. No doubt this ad will garner more attention for these dapper gents.
Check out the ad and short documentary below.
Curator Shantrelle P Lewis of Dandy Lions – “A photography and film project that explores Global Black Dandyism and contemporary counter-narratives of Black Masculinity” is featured here speaking with Daniele Tamagni about his work in an interview which took place at the Kristin Hjellegjerde gallery last year.