Fashion “As long as there are expensive designer clothes on” – a community of Congolese lives in the Helsinki region, the appearance of which is determined by three exact rules

For Finns with a Congolese background, clothes are not just clothes. A culture that glorifies fashion creations and expensive brands has its roots in the distance.

In Finland live in a community where many have a very special way of looking at looks. It is defined by three rules: bien sapé, bien coiffé, bien parfumé.

The clothes must therefore look good, the barber must be at least twice a month and the perfume must be unique.

They are Congolese in Finland.

In Leppävaara, Espoo, the door of an apartment building opens, and a 25-year-old peeks behind it Jelotelli Ange Yuma.

Yuma is a former professional footballer. He was born in the Democratic Republic of Congo but moved to Finland as a child. She is known in the Congolese community as a companion and a great dresser.

“The Congolese saying is that there is no need to have anything to eat at home as long as there is expensive designer clothes on,” Yuma says with a smile.

In Congolese, the tradition of showy dress typically runs from parents to children, Yuma explains. His own style has been influenced by his uncle.

“Uncle only wears tall ones J. M. Westonin boots. I think they are a little too much, but they suit him. ”

Now Yuma is wearing a ragged shirt and black harem pants. However, there is a turquoise suit in the closet for photos. Could you even go to the grocery store in that suit?

“Definitely, this kind of dress is quite common in Congo as well.”

For shots, a gorgeous turquoise suit is picked up from the wardrobe. However, according to Yelotti Ange Yuma, it could spin in the grocery store.

Congo the capitals of the democratic republic and the republic of the congo, kinshasa and brazzaville, are known around the world for their fashion and special sape culture.

La Sape is French and comes from the words “Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes”, which is freely translated as “a community of mood creators and elegant people”.

These Congolese dandies, sapeurit and sapeuset, are local celebrities in their eye – catching, expensive fashion creations. The phenomenon is considered to have begun in the 1960s, when creations of European fashion houses moved from Central to Central Africa in particular.

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Later, at the turn of the 1980s, Congolese musicians traveled to France, bringing with them style trends that still have their roots in culture. Today, the phenomenon is about lifestyle.

Of particular importance to the Congolese is the famous singer Papa Wemba, real name Jules Shungu Wembadio Pene Kikumba, which the whole nation loves.

“Papa Wemba brought the logo and a big brand to Congo,” says Yuma.

“He is said to have said that life is too short to dress like the‘ poor ’. There was already talk of millions in connection with the value of Papa’s final clothing assets. ”

Artist JB Mpiana has also had a big impact on the fact that many in the Congo have wanted to start wearing expensive designer clothes and showcasing their wealth.

“Uncle only wears high J. M. Weston boots.”

From what What do Congolese clothes look like in Finland?

The community in the metropolitan area is dense and warm-hearted. Many offer their help in the conversation.

Parents ’style is described as“ elegant but generous ”. So colorful fabrics as well as expensive designer clothes where the logos are allowed to appear. Young people, on the other hand, think that logos are old-fashioned.

This is also the opinion of Vantaa residents Yosias Kianvo, 31. She is sitting on a couch in Hakunila wearing a comfortable tracksuit. However, a small ring, or pinky ring, shines in the small grill.

“This is an artist style,” the transportation worker and musician, Yo Boy Shine, laughs.

Yosias Kianvo describes his style as “artist style”. It is defined by comfort, elegance and details such as carefully selected jewelry.

Her dress shines with confidence. According to Kianvo, for example, a well-fitting suit can act as a power garment. The purpose is not to compete with anyone, but to dress yourself so that your own inner feeling stays good.

One Helsinki’s Congolese seem to be a particularly legendary dresser. But the legend is hard to reach.

It takes four weeks before the call arrives from the football field in Puotila. Property manager Jose Bongu Efako, 53, meaning Lobos has finally been reached.

“Actually, dressing is as natural and important to me as breathing,” Efako says.

For Jose Bongu Efako, clothing is an important form of self-expression.

Efako arrives at the photography in Vallila, Helsinki Rick Owensin in running shoes, a black Gary flightsuit suit by the same designer, and Tom Ford in sunglasses.

Efako is wearing a favorite outfit: fashion designer Rick Owens ’Gary flighsuit coverall.

Efako, who has a Congolese background, dresses accurately down to the running shoes.

While Efako is struggling to get toe on expensive signs, logos aren’t the most important thing, he assures.

“I’m not interested in competition. It’s enough for me to be me. ”

He was born in Kinshasa and grew up in “Congo, Paris,” in the Bandal region.

Dressing up for Efako is a form of self-expression – as important as love.

Malmin arcade in Sugo with soft velvet chairs lying in black leather pants Harlova Vukulu, 24. Large, heart-shaped earrings shine in the ears. He has received them as gifts from his mother.

Harlova Vukulu bravely dresses only for herself.

The earrings given by her mother, dear to Vukulu, shine in the artist’s ears.

Even for Vuku, dressing has been passed down as a legacy of the parents. The Congolese mother once used the bags of the French fashion house Céline, and the father was known for his watches, which were “expensive stuff”.

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However, Vukulu, who makes music under the name of a tourist, also recognizes the downsides of fashion-conscious clothing.

“The effort to dress beautifully can really be a curse,” says Vukulu.

Not everyone can afford expensive clothes. The pressures can be difficult to withstand.

He says he has experienced this for himself. Ever since Dad threw him out of the family home, he has had to get the money for the clothes himself. It has given perspective and forced us to try, Vukulu says.

“There was a big quarrel at home about jewelry and colorful hair.”

The controversy was about cultural heritage, the generation gap, and how gender can be seen. But most of all, it was a place for Vukulu to show that he was standing behind his own identity.

“Our parents have grown up in a completely different time and world. I understand that. However, you can never be happy if you only live for others. ”

Vukulu touches her beautiful earrings and smiles gently. “I’ve always dressed just for myself because I love myself. That’s enough.”

Monelle for a young Congolese, it is all about separation – not logos or communication about success.

“Compared to musicians, I’m not really a great dresser but an artist,” says Yelotheli Ange Yuma.

“With my dress, I want to bring out the difference. For me, fashion is a bit like religion. ”

For Yelote Ange Yuma, dress and fashion are like religion.

How much money goes into clothes then? Yuma doesn’t necessarily spend large sums of money on dressing: she says she’s happy to combine fast fashion with classic fashion creations.

“I’m a bit of an online shopper. However, I don’t have a lot of logos, I’m just a realistic shopper. In Congo, people would prefer to pay € 10,000 for a jacket, even if the fridge is empty. I prefer to cook good food. ”

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