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austere "Housed in a 1927 department-store garage," Austere "celebrates, in its many forms, Scandinavian design," reports David A. Keeps in The Wall Street Journal (5/10/14). "Home decor commingles with clothing, and a 2015 Volvo SUV is parked amid cosmetics and food items." A gallery featuring "Swedish art photographer J.H. Engstrom and podiums stacked with classic bentwood stools by Finnish designer Alvar Aalto" fill the mezzanine.

The 4,800 square-foot LA store "is the creation of New York-based brand consultant Fredrik Carlstrom, 37," whose inspiration is "the everyday objects of his Stockholm youth — Fiskars scissors, Arne Jacobsen’s Ant chairs," and the like. "I didn’t know how awesome these things were until I lived in the US for 15 years," says Fredrik. "This is deeply personal." Unlike traditional department stores, it is also decidedly masculine.

Among its eclectic attractions are a barbershop, as well as "rugged travel bags, sleek cycling gear, premium button-down shirts and geeky boys’ toys … Austere is a hybrid of a manufacturer’s showroom, a cash-and-carry retail outlet, an exhibition hall outfitted with a design reference library and an event space complete with an Electrolux kitchen and a restaurant styled like a sauna." Fredrik hopes to open more stores in 2015.