This CongoLive episode focused on a retrospective look in the life of young Congolese entrepreneur Eric Ndelo. This young man and his team have been building a fashion empire they call DRC Apeparel focusing on creating products that raise consciousness about Africa and connect in breaking cultural barriers.
Fashion is often seen as a reflection of social, economic, political and cultural changes. It is the most powerful art there is. It helps create cultural understanding and influences our way of thinking on what beauty is.
In the central region of Africa, both in Brazzaville and Kinshasa, a fashion movement was created in the early 1900s called “La Sape” based on the elegance in style. Professor Gondola said “Today, with both countries in turmoil, la sape, with its exuberant flamboyance may well serve as a lighting rod for the Congolese disenfranchised youth to map out their itinerary from Third World status to a modern cosmopolitanism and to cope with their social dereliction.”
We believe this is true not only in the Congo, but also in the United States. Today, our guest Eric B. Ndelo joins us to discuss how as a Congolese born fashion expert and creative director of his company DRC Apeparel, he has been able to influence the American society.
DRC ApeParel, the Afrikan Streetwear and Lifestyle company, seeks to marry revolutionary consciousness and runway chic. Established under the brand philosophy “We are the Cool and the Conscious,” DRC ApeParel designs are walking billboards for global awareness, street storytelling, and Pan-African pride with street sensibility.
Charlotte, NC born, as Congolese Eric B. Ndelo (1979), graduated from North Carolina State with a degree in Digital Media Production and Electrical Engineering, and shortly thereafter launched his own apparel brand. Eric co-founded DRC ApeParel, LTD. in 2004 alongside Congolese Roderick Vakala. The Afrikan Street wear and Lifestyle company seeks to marry revolutionary consciousness and runway chic. Established under the brand philosophy “We are the Cool and the Conscious,” DRC ApeParel designs are walking billboards for global awareness, street storytelling, and Pan-African pride with street sensibility. Office headquarters are located in Charlotte, North Carolina where the company is known to host various awareness raising events throughout the year, in partnership with local community acts and non- profit organizations.