Introducing the Afro-Dandy movement: Elegant, sophisticated, stylish and with a classical swagger.
Sartorial artistry in colour, pattern, style and attention to detail are the hallmarks of the Afro-Dandy fashion movement. Its roots have been traced to the Mediterranean coastlines of Italy and the Asian subcontinent.
Afro-Dandy gradually found its way to Africa.
Laurensius Gebhardt is a Namibian fashion stylist who caught on with this bold wave of donning attire. He is the leading figure in the Afro-Dandy Movement of men and their distinctly tailored suits.
With over eighty pairs of shoes, eighty ties and over fifty suits, Laurensius is a proud Afro-Dandy. His dandy friends fondly call him “Loux the Vintage Guru”.
“We wear suits every day! The only time that I don’t wear a suit is when I wear my pyjamas to go to bed, or when I go to Kapana, where they sell nice beef meat. As much as you’re wearing your denim or track suits at home, we wear our suits, our formal shirts,” says Loux, ambassador of the Afro-Dandy Movement.
It is easy to think that such dapper and style naturally come with a hefty price tag; however, the Afro-dandies have afforded themselves elegance at a discount; by remolding second hand clothing into bold and exciting vintage fashion statements.
“The nice thing is that they are limited (second hand clothes) because they are imported from Italy, Japan. When you have something from here (second hand clothes market), you’re the only one who has it,” says one of the Afro-Dandies.
“We have a slogan that says; dress cheap, look rich. It is our lifestyle,” says Loux.
But for these men of elegance, it is not just about fashionable clothes. “We are a clan of black brothers scattered across Africa. When we come together, you see our tribe,” says Caswell Lengoabala, a South African fashion designer and stylist.
Despite hailing from a humble background in Katutura-Namibia, Loux’s parents instilled in him a culture of always looking smart, regardless of the circumstances.
“My father and my grandfather’s shoes were always shining, and they told me to always try to look smart,” says Loux.
Loux is an accountant by profession. It was after he had completed his accounting studies that his parents let him pursue his dreams in fashion.
An important part of Loux’s endeavour is through the fashion photographs that he takes daily and shares on social media platforms to educate people on how to dress. It is through the images that he shows everyone around the world where he comes from by including the living spaces of ordinary African people.
Loux is able to put Africa on the map as he religiously attends Pitti Uomo, a bi-annual international fashion event that brings together retailers, menswear designers and fashion enthusiasts.
Loux attended the most recent one, Pitti Uomo 92, which was held in Florence, Italy.
The event is credited with making dandyism acceptable to a wider audience.
What Loux learns from the event, he is able to come back and implement in Africa. “I need to leave a legacy that my ancestors left behind. The continuation of wearing sartorial suits is going to continue until I die.”
Because dressing well is an essential part of Loux’s philosophy, he encourages people to live by ‘Dress cheap, look rich’ slogan.