Originally birthed as a response to the lack of representation of African diasporan' s in modern day USA; unlike any other brand, Mizizi have a unique approach in spreading their message, of interconnectedness to our roots.
Do you see the vision?
As a Pan-African, I had all the reason to tap into this cultural phenomenon, a collaboration of cultural artistry and diasporan pride, that is MIZIZI. 'Mizizi' meaning 'roots' in Swahili, is an official streetwear brand founded with the aim of representing the African diaspora. Originally birthed as a response to the lack of representation of African diasporan' s in modern day USA; unlike any other brand, Mizizi have a unique approach in spreading their message, of interconnectedness to our roots.
Inspired by the dandies of Congo (La Sape)
Character is personal, style is universal.
Le caractère est personnel, le style est universel.
Most of you may know that today marks 61 years of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 's independence from Belgian rule, so I was delighted, that they announced that they are launching their two soccer jerseys today, 30th June 2021. To launch the Congo DRC jersey, Mizizi have curated a campaign inspired by 'La Sape' culture, which is known to others as 'dandyism' / 'Congo dandies'.
Styled by Amanda Taymor, the two soccer jerseys are paired with with colourful suits and accessories (hats, ties and briefcases), to really mimic the style of the Congolese Sapeurs. The accessories accentuate the colours of the Congolese flag; so blue, yellow and red.
The styling of this campaign is really quite symbolic. By combining the style of the well known sapeurs who are known to sport colourful suits, with the Mizizi jersey, it actually represented a rejection of colonial rule to me. I'll give you some background; Sapologie had came about in Congo, after the French had set out to "civilize African people". They provided them with European second hand clothes as a bargaining tool to gain the devotion of the Congolese superiors. The Congolese being the Congolese, took this and made it a lifestyle and a subculture of their own.
The lifestyle was simple: a rejection of poverty, despite their expensive attire, they are not rich men, but they can dress like it.
Pairing the suit attire with the jersey is a statement. A statement that praises and acknowledges what Congolese people have done with the Sapologie subculture and influence it has had across Africa. Instead of the typical European shirt, the campaign images feature the jersey; decorated with the Leopard, and the year 1960 - marking our independence - that's what we're choosing to wear on our backs, the year we formally decolonised Congo.
I want to give a huge mention to those involved in the BTS of the campaign;
Creative director - Temi Thomas
Designer - Kenneth William Obeng
Photographer - Kwesi Yanful
Videographer - Luan Pham
Models - Jewinne Tshibola and Chilove Mbemba
The perfect gift for your Patriot friend!
These shirts are retailing at $79.99 USD on Mizizi Shop, and guess what? It's available for international shipping! So wherever you are in the world, you can grab yourself one and represent! The perfect gift for your patriot friend to mark DRC's 61st independence day!
The jersey was described by Paakow, the founder of Mizizi as "curated for all in the diaspora and more specifically, the Congolese Diaspora". What I love about it is that it can be worn for any occasion; you're not limited to wearing it for a sport related cause, it's really been created as a global fashion symbol of pride, and looks good on both men and women!
“DRCongo” can be found written across the front of both jerseys, with a Leopard head stitched on the breast. - Why is this great? because a Leopard head is the national emblem of the Congolese people. Though it has changed over time, the Leopard head acts as the current emblem of the country, and represents Cement of the nation, source of common pride, strength and beauty through which all Congolese wish to recognize themselves. The Leopard holds an exceptional status among the many animals that reside in Congo DRC, and as a result it is one of the rare sub-Saharan African countries where Leopard hunting is NOT allowed.
These images show the Father of Congolese Independence, Patrice Lumumba wearing a leopard print hat. And former president Mobutu Sese Seko wearing a full Leopard print abacost. You can clearly see the the Leopard print has been a Congolese fashion statement since the late 20th century.
The pattern of blue and red striped colour along the right sleeve alludes to the Congo river.
The independence year, 1960, is displayed on the back with a DRC flag printed directly above it.
This jersey is 100% polyester fabric, sublimation printed with tackle twill stitching for optimal comfort.
Go to the product
Where can you find us?
You can shop Mizizi's wonderful items, even if you're not Congolese, there is a jersey to represent your country, with another fascinating story behind it. Visit the shop here: mizizishop.com
Don't miss the *all new* Congo 61st 'La Sape' campaign launch video. You can watch it on YouTube, coming out on the 30th June exclusively to the Mizizi YouTube channel!
Check out the campaign video below:
Want to find out more about Mizizi's exciting diaspora led campaigns? Be sure to follow them across all social platforms.
Instagram - mizizishop
Twitter - @mizizishop
That's the end of the post, this was a collaborative review of Mizizi's new campaign on Congo DRC and the launch of their soccer jersey. If you would like to work with me (SSOZINA), you can review the services that we offer, and collaboration terms by heading to the Work with Me page.
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Thanks for reading.