Elegance and retrospective sartorialism among young African males | Intellect Skip to content
Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 2050-0742
  • E-ISSN: 2050-0750



This article offers a set of preliminary and necessarily incomplete notes on the subculture of African dandies, who re-appropriate the styling trends of past generations of Afro-diasporic gentlemen to new aims. While dandyism has a long and respected tradition across many African states, it remains an under-investigated phenomenon, save for the bibliography of Congolese sapologie. Furthermore, this topic has found little to no space in the literature on black self-styling, in monographic studies on Afro-diasporic dandyism, and in the journalistic and artistic production on the ‘New Age’ ‘dappers’. I engage with this lack of scholarship and with the challenge of looking for the elements and stories that make African dandyism, indeed, African, rather than generally ‘black’, paying attention to the ways in which this aesthetic vocation weaves together a concern with memory and cultural pride, with professional ambitions and self-promotion.


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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): African dress; black dappers; dandy; retrospective fashion; sapeurs; swenkas
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