In recent years the Congo has seen rise to a unique movement known as “La Sape” which stands for “The Society of Ambiance-Makers and Elegant People”, the movement itself see’s fashion-conscious men splashing out on designer clothes rather than the spending it on essentials. As a result these men truly do stand out from the crowd becoming local celebrities, but this taste of fame comes at a price.
The Republic of the Congo in Central Africa can’t boast of high standards of living but here we see men who are prepared to spend what money they have on designer suits, calling themselves “sapeurs”. However, this image of success is often nothing more than a facade with tales of significant financial troubles caused by this extravagant way of life.
Many of these “sapeurs” have to save, borrow and even steal money to keep up appearances, this often brings their families to ruin. It could be seen as more of an addiction as many disregard any thought of consequence, continuing to invest in style rather than improving their living conditions.
That being said, it is not all doom and gloom as some “sapeurs” do seem to find the right balance between looking chic and reasonable spending. Many insist “La Sape” is more of a movement which puts emphasis on learning to dress well but within one’s means.