Watch: Guinness gets inspired by African tailoring

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The Society of Elegant Persons of the Congo are proponents of a lifestyle known in the country as ‘La Sape’. It’s a vibrant African sub-culture which leans heavily on European tailoring traditions mixed with the vibrant colors of the continent. Now Guinness’s latest ad focuses on these gentlemen who live by a dress (and life) code that emphasizes “putting more in, to get more out”, according to the brand. 

Outfits include a bright yellow bespoke suit with a matching umbrella, tweed waistcoats and even that most classic Scottish sartorial invention, the tartan kilt, as a voiceover reads: “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul” — lines from English poet William Ernest Henley’s 1875 poem “Invictus.”

The tradition of the Sapeurs goes back generations, but as Africa continues to develop and more homegrown luxury fashion brands and stores (like the recently launched Kisua) appear, it’s something we expect to see increasingly inspiring Western brands.

Remember, says Guinness: “it is not the fabric or cost of the suit that counts, it is the worth of the man inside it.”

Check out the ad:

You can also take a closer look at the men in the suits in a short documentary produced by the brand:

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