We are "The Cool & Conscious". The clothing we bring you is born out of these two ideas and is the essence of what we do. We combine Pan African style with social issues from countries of the African Diaspora to create a apparel brand that speaks with a voice unique in the fashion world.
In 1997, Zaire became the Democratic Republic of Congo – DRC – after 30 years of dictatorship. The new name struck a cord with two Congolese cousins living in North Carolina and it was while one was in college and the other in the Navy, that their ideas to start a conscious clothing line began to spark. Then, Eric Ndelo made a trip to Europe and upon visiting Belgium discovered the lack of Congolese representation in clothing. His return home marked the beginning of what would soon be a burning desire to bring awareness, and ultimately solutions, to the struggles of Pan African communities through fashion. Roderick Vakala, his cousin, and two other college friends agreed and in 2004 the first T-shirts were made. This burst of energy and creativity came from the line’s first theme "Rocking Your History on Your Chest!", and today our style has grown into the exclamation "It’s Cool to be Conscious!" Our focus is on these times of great need for transformation and change in countries where people are being removed from their homes and land and where their livelihood is being stripped from them. We strive to reach the masses through bright colors, strong patterns, meaningful images, and apparel that makes you feel good when you wear it.
We are "The Afrikan StreetWear & LifeStyle Brand." DRC ApeParel is the brand of choice for the global-minded, social-conscious, sneaker enthusiast who seek ApeParel that appeals to more than just a sense of style. The DRC ApeParel Brand fuses the cultural aesthetics of international street movements with a global African perspective on style. DRC ApeParel strives to inspire a "Cool & Conscious" way of life that increases cross-cultural awareness and unite the Global Gorillas through our apparel commentary.