Walking with the fashion kings of the Congo — Lonely Planet travel videos

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Lonely Planet Traveller magazine (http://bit.ly/lpmagazine) went to Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo earlier this year, to explore the fascinating ‘sapeur’ subculture.

“Sapeur stands for Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes (Society of Tastemakers and Elegant People). It’s a legacy of the French colonial era, and not just a way of dressing but a way of life. A sapeur must be kind and cheerful, and cannot do evil to people. For me, clothes are a pleasure – they make me happy. When I walk down the street in Brazzaville, everyone looks at me and they call out. They shout ‘Vieux la Mam’ – a nickname which comes from the name of the restaurant where I used to work as a cook. They see an old man with white hair, but say: ‘He dresses well, we must do what he does.’ Even the young people follow me and try to dress like me. Being the oldest sapeur makes me very proud. My father and grandfather were sapeurs, and many of my 12 children and 30 grandchildren are continuing the tradition. It is like a custom in my family.” – Sila Gregoire, Sapeur, Brazzaville, Republic of the Congo

Learn more about the Congo and why it was recently selected on of our Best in Travel 2015 countries, here: http://bit.ly/lpcongo

Host/writer: Duncan Craig
Editor: Chad Davis

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