Fashion news from Africa: “I am the captain of my soul”

African fashion was recently highlighted in a Guinness beer television commercial. Even more surprisingly, it featured Congolese (Brazzaville) men promoting a strong message of personal worth and agency. As the narrator says, “with every brace and every cufflink we say, ‘I am the master of my fate. I am the captain of my soul.'”

See: “Ad of the Day: Congo’s Sapeurs Star in the Best-Dressed Guinness Commercial Ever Central African elegance” by David Griner in AdWeek:

The spot shines a light on the Society of Elegant Persons of the Congo, better known as the Sapeurs. This impeccably stylish club, made up of blue-collar workers who dedicate their off time to colorful fashion and effortless savoir faire, has drawn international attention in recent years as a bellwether of peacetime optimism and confidence in the Republic of the Congo.

These over the top clubs have attracted some attention for years (including a beautiful photography book), as the article points out, but this may be the first broad television exposure they’ve received. A short documentary is also linked from the Guinness advertisement’s YouTube video.

In related fashion news, designer Loux the Vintage Guru‘s thrift shop Namibian style is featured in this post from bOING bOING (which also links to an interview with his comments on men’s fashion).

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