The Montreal collective honour the art of looking good with their La Sape inspired collection


Montreal mavericks Moonshine are channelling La Sape in their latest capsule collection, Internationale Sapologie. The range takes its vibrant colour cues and all-round swag from the French-Congolese movement Société des Ambianceurs et des Personnes Élégantes and gives it a streetwear spin. “With this capsule we wanted to pay homage to La Sape by creating something that Papa Wemba or Douk Souga would wear if they were still around," says designer Hervé Kalongo, who co-founded the Moonshine collective in 2014 with musician Pierre Kwenders.

This duo and their friends were craving a club experience that catered to the contemporary African sounds they wanted to hear, and so decided to create it themselves. “The essence of Moonshine came out of parties we used to throw in our kitchens,” says Kwenders. “We felt like we couldn’t go out and find what we had cooked up in that kitchen so we started Moonshine to share that vibe with more people who didn’t have access to such sounds either.”

The concept is reassuringly lo-fi. As its name suggests, Moonshine is a lunar-based party hosted in undisclosed locations around Montreal on the first Saturday after every full moon. Devotees receive the venue details via SMS and then go to enjoy a diverse array of diaspora sounds that journey stylishly through hip hop, Afro-house, coupé-décalé, electro, funk and a whole lot more. Kwenders is in residence alongside DJ Bonbon Kojak. Visuals and art direction come courtesy of Boycott while Félix Brochier jumps on the trumpet.

Guest performers have included Kaytranada, Dâm-Funk, Le1f, Venus X, DJ Windows 98 (Arcade Fire’s Win Butler), Bambii and Branko and the party has also travelled beyond Canada to shine its celestial sonics upon New York, LA, Paris and Santiago.

Their most recent event, the annual Midnight Cup, brings together raving with another African obsession, football, for a tournament like no other. In addition, Moonshine also acts as a record label. Right now Moonshine is popping up with Internationale Sapologie at Montreal menswear store Off The Hook so go grab your logo djellaba and glow in the dark T-shirt before this special merch is gone.

Photography Oumayma B. Tanfous
Art direction Comme Un Grand
Words Helen Jennings

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Published on 24/07/2019