Brazzaville and Kinshasa are two of the most dangerous cities in Africa, and yet, surrounded by poverty and crime, the “Society of Atmosphere Setters and Elegant People” surprises us. It is group of men who, despite being poor in most cases, hold elegance as their most cherished attribute. Dandies in the purest sense. I wrote an article about them and now, here’s a video that shows photographs by Daniele Tamagni, from his book Gentlemen of Bacongo.
All sapeurs from Congo dream of one day traveling to Paris to buy their elegant clothes for themselves. If they go, visiting Connivences in Château Rouge is an absolute must. This little store, run by Jocelyn “Le Bachelor”, has everything a true gentleman might need.
Baudelaire wrote extensively about dandies. These men can definitely be defined as dandies à l’africaine. “A Dandy is a clothes-wearing Man, a Man whose trade, office and existence consists in the wearing of clothes.” Thomas Carlyle.
And while we are still in the subject of elegance…I discovered only recently photographs of this man. It is absolutely impossible to be any cooler. His name is Kevin Stewart and he is the designer behind Roger Charles New York, and used to be fashion editor at ESPN magazine. He’s also called Professor Badass on the internet for his absolute coolness. To know more about him, see this interview.