Welcome to Spring/Summer ’24, a season brimming with newness, from highly-anticipated debuts to innovative takes on fashion’s perennial favourites. Amidst the athletic-inspired touches and refined silhouettes, there was an unmistakable new mood in the air- a refreshingly authentic portrayal of modern life. The Spring/Summer ’24 runways showed us more than ever that luxury goes beyond what we wear, but is an extension of our personalities and lifestyles. This season is a profound testament to the power of personal expression. Prepare to be inspired as you discover pieces that not only resonate with your unique personality but also elevate your everyday experiences. As the definitive home of luxury, we invite you to delve deep into what luxury embodies in today’s ever-evolving landscape. Whether that involves connecting with simple pleasures or redefining your signature style, embrace the synergy between what you wear and who you are. Ounass shines a spotlight on the key collections of Spring/Summer ’24 alongside one of the region’s most notable athletes on the rise. In an exclusive interview, we sit down with Husein Alireza, the first rower to represent Saudi in the Olympic Games. The athlete reflects on his journey, the evolving intersection of fashion and sports, and personal identity.SHOP NOW
What inspired you to take up rowing, and how has it become a significant part of your everyday life?
Admittedly early starts in the freezing cold didn’t sound too appealing. But rowing was unique to Cambridge and a completely new sport to me. It had a unique blend of camaraderie and masochism. There’s nothing quite like the symphony of chattering teeth and the collective shivering of your crewmates as you all question your life choices in the frosty pre-dawn air. The shared misery has this magical way of forging bonds that’ll last a lifetime. Besides that, the sport epitomises the fusion of power and finesse. Athletes push their bodies to the absolute physical limits, navigating the thin line between physical exertion and grace.
As the first Saudi rower at the Olympics, how does representing Saudi Arabia on the international stage contribute to your sense of identity?
It made me realise that in all my travels, never have I come across a people so warm and loving as those I live amongst in Saudi. I love the familiarity of what we stand for and the specific words that only we have. I love the accents from every part of the land, and the tremendous warmth and love of our people. Nowhere have I experienced magic quite like this. Representing Saudi internationally isn’t about waving flags or delivering speeches; it's more about being a living, breathing embodiment of the diverse culture of Saudi Arabia.
You’re set to participate in the upcoming Paris 2024 Olympics. How do you anticipate the event further influencing the intersection of fashion and sports?
Paris is one of the world’s fashion capitals so I think nations will feel inspired to embrace creative freedoms when it comes to kit design. Athletes' uniforms might become a canvas for innovative collaborations between fashion designers and sports brands, merging high-performance fabrics with avant-garde design elements, hopefully.
Tell us about your selections from the Spring Summer ’24 collections.
What I appreciate most is simplicity and timeless design; pieces that transcend trends. I enjoy neutral tones while avoiding conspicuous branding and flashy logos, with the exception of Nike.
What trends are you looking forward to wearing this season?
I’m a bit out of my depth when it comes to runway trends. But what I hope to see more of is appreciation for finer details and craftsmanship rather than flashy logos. I’d like to see a desire for authenticity which values the time-honoured techniques and attention to detail that go into producing something exceptional.
The Spring Summer ’24 collections bring real-life wearability to the forefront. What role does wearability and functionality play in your own wardrobe choices?
On most days you’ll find me in a pair of traditional Saudi madas sharqi (Arabic for sandal from the east) because I find them to perfectly exemplify the blend of form and function. I wore them during the Asian Rowing Championships in Thailand because of their comfort as well as cultural symbolism. They were such a big hit that someone stole them when I was racing! If you see a pair of sharqis in Thailand, they’re probably mine.
The new season seems to blur the lines between fashion and lifestyle. How do you see this impacting the way men perceive and engage with fashion and luxury in their daily lives?
Brands are clearly jumping on the lifestyle wagon. Men might feel a stronger connection with labels that match their vibe. I think it’s turning fashion into a more chill, diverse, and conscious part of men’s lives, making the fashion scene a bit more laid-back and real.
How do you integrate elements of luxury into your daily training and recovery routines?
I’d say the ultimate luxury for athletes comes in the form of rest days and those rare cheat meals. Rowing in particular can be overwhelmingly all-consuming so it's important to disassociate and recharge. The combination of the two feels like a full-on luxury retreat for the body and mind.
Can you share some daily rituals or routines that contribute to a sense of luxury in your life?
I try to add more joy in the ‘everyday’, finding beauty in the mundane, relish in the peace. After four years of experiencing a rollercoaster of highs and lows on the run-up to the Tokyo Olympics, I’m learning to welcome the calm. It’s the simple things in life that make up the bulk of it. Personally, I’ve found that nothing contributes more to your quality of life than being surrounded by family. They bring comfort, love, and an irreplaceable sense of belonging that money can’t buy.