In Summary
  • A movement that worships fashion as a religion took to the streets to pay tribute to its founder. The Sape movement, born in the 1960s in Congo, aims at bringing together men who fancy dressing flamboyantly.

KINSHASA

While all the fashion eyes were on New York during its fashion week, the democratic republic of Congo was hosting its own fashion event.

A movement that worships fashion as a religion took to the streets to pay tribute to its founder. The Sape movement, born in the 1960s in Congo, aims at bringing together men who fancy dressing flamboyantly.

It was founded by Stervos Niarcos Ngashie, who died in 1995. Ngashie was revered and held in high esteem and widely acknowledged as the leader of the La Sape movement and the founder of the "Kitendi" religion, which means clothing in local Lingala language.

Members of "La Sape" movement, the acronym for "Societe des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Elegantes" (The Society for the Advancement of Elegant People), are individually referred to as ‘Sapeur’.

Hundreds of Sapeurs turned out displaying outrageous outfits and accessories with some members cross dressing to pay tribute to the founder at the Gombe cemetery in Kinshasa on February 10, 2014.