Friday, December 6, 2019
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 Bringing Sexy (Cables) Back 

Austere’s aim is to fill a gap in the A/V accessories market by providing products that weave strong performance into a luxurious design.

With its sights set on attacking a massive white space in the audio/video industry, Austere—a new luxury a/v accessories brand—launched with a lavish private event in New York City this week. Founded by consumer technology industry aficionado Deena Ghazarian, who will also serve as the company’s CEO, Austere loudly proclaimed its place at the high end of a tech segment that often is something of an afterthought.

At a time when so much in the tech world is being driven by design and fashion, Austere has basically called out the industry for refusing to address the home theater and entertainment space for not giving the same undue attention to the accessories that make all of these products perform optimally. Among the products available at launch are two different series of HDMI 2.0 cables that come in various lengths and support 4K HDR, an optical audio cable, an audio interconnect cable, speaker cables and cable adapters, a subwoofer cable, two series of surge protectors, and a screen cleaner solution. The cables range in price from $39.99 up to $199.99, while the surge protectors go from $129.99 up to $199.99, and the screen cleaning solution will retail for $19.99.

During the launch event, Ghazarian noted that these products were just a start for Austere, and that the company is already exploring different segments to possibly expand their reach even further.

“There is a massive gap in the technology accessories category, where the choice is either ubiquitous products that easily break and underperform or overly extravagant, antiquated accessories,” Ghazarian said.. “At Austere, we’re equally passionate about performance and style and believe there’s a tremendous need in the accessories market for accessible products where these ideologies intersect. That’s why we’ve created Austere, from the packaging to the in-store displays to the products themselves, with intentional design and minimalistic style that deliver spectacular performance.”

Function is a major part of the new product line, she said during the event. Given her background and familiarity with the cable industry—she spent many year’s working with Noel Lee and his team at Monster—there’s no doubting that Ghazarian’s company will create products that perform well. But this is very much a design play, at the end of the day. And it’s a brilliant one. With the in-home entertainment space now becoming an essential and often-asked-for add on in new home builds and retrofits—particularly in higher-scale luxury projects—designers and integrators alike will certainly benefit from having an accessory option that fits with the story they’re trying to pitch to their client. When so much is being invested in the way of high end TVs and audio systems that look and perform great, it’s a shame to see the cables and other accessories that drive those products not live up to the same design standards. And that’s where Ghazarian believes her new company will be able to step in and thrive.

The level of attention to detail with the products is top-notch, from the elegant woven fabrics that make up the HDMI cables, to the sharp edges and classy materials used to construct the power strips, down to the reusable packaging that the products ship in. Their commitment to the finer points extends even to their customer service, which includes lifetime guarantees up and down their product line.

Ghazarian is certainly a well-known and well-respected name in this industry, and she’s someone that we’re thrilled to call a friend of ours. So, we couldn’t be happier to see Austere get off the ground in such tremendous fashion, and we only wish her and her company success. The entire Austere collection will be available on the company’s website and at select national, regional, and global retailers starting this July.

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 A Word From the CEO 

Where was the idea for a company like Austere born?

I was at a trade show and a retailer brought to my attention that there is a huge vacuum in the accessories market and an opportunity for someone to come in and offer something different. Over the next few weeks, several more industry colleagues approached me about the same thing and a few even asked if I could help solve this for them. After taking some time to consider what they asked and speaking with some industry insiders whom I trust, it became clear that there was a need to create a line of accessories that truly represent what customers want—a line where design is just as important as technology.
We created Austere for people who care about design and style and want what we connect to our gorgeous HDTVs and sleek laptops to be not only technologically advanced but also design forward. We are passionate about creating accessories that challenge the status quo, from what they offer, how they perform, to what they look like, how they’re packaged and backing them with a lifetime guarantee. We will offer accessories that are sophisticated, stylish and perform at the highest level. Always.

What's the pitch that retailers should use when presenting your products to potential customers?

Design and how things look are as important as performance and value and that both absolutely must co-exist. Austere provides all of these qualities, in every product. Our products stand out in a store and were created from input from many of our retail partners. It’s this simple aesthetic that speaks louder than any trend. When sleek, simple minimalist style is done right, it makes more of an impact than even the loudest look.

Who is the ideal Austere customer?

Austere was created for the customer who is intentional about everything. About their TV, their timepiece, their iPhone, their shoes, their car, their bag. They buy with careful consideration, are drawn to design and demand performance and value. Austere customers balk trends for timeless sophistication. They curate their technology as much as they curate their look. They’re never flashy; they’re always elegant and chic. The Austere customer relies on technology always in all ways, for both work and play. They consider purchases an investment and don’t mind spending a little more for something that is beautifully designed and a reflection of their taste.

You launch with a pretty solid lineup of product. What are the next steps for the brand (product and/or otherwise)?

Right now, we’re focused on products for the home, from HDMI cables, to a complete range of audio cables to incredibly inventive and sophisticated power solutions and clean & protect. And while our focus is on connecting and powering every room in the home, our future will take us far beyond that.