On Monday Deciem founder, Brandon Truaxe, posted a bizarre video entry on the brand’s Instagram account, claiming that the company “will shut down all operations until further notice, which is about two months,” indicating that members of his team have been embroiled in a “major criminal activity.” This is just one example of the erratic behavior Truaxe has displayed since February, when he fired brand co-founder, Nicola Kilner (who was subsequently rehired in July). In April Truaxe fired the brand’s entire U.S. staff and June he announced that Deciem would be leaving Sephora for Ulta (something which was never realized).
Update: Estée Lauder, who owns a 28% stake in Deciem has just filed an injunction against Truaxe, asking that he be removed from the company and replaced by Kilner as sole CEO. Truaxe has since posted correspondence from Lauder.
Deciem is known for housing several trendy beauty lines, including The Ordinary, NIOD, Hylamide, Chemistry Brand, Stemm, Fountain, HIF, Ab Crew, and Abnormaly, as well as off-shoots, Loopha, White Rx, Inhibitif, Halftone, Hippooh, and Stencil. Its lines are vertically integrated and benefit from the sharing of proprietary technology. As of late Tuesday, nearly all of Deciem’s stores in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, South Korea, and The Netherlands were closed. Only Mexico City’s three stores and its offices in Toronto, London, Melbourne, and Nottingham currently remain open.
In Truaxe’s post, he accuses a number of high-profile cosmetics, fashion, and lifestyle, companies, including Estée Lauder Hyatt, LVMH, David Yurman, Tom Ford, and many others of “financial crimes.” A spokesperson for Lauder responded, “The Estée Lauder Companies is a minority investor in Deciem and as such we do not control Deciem’s operations, social media or personnel decisions. We are deeply concerned by the material that has recently been posted on social media and will defend our right as a minority investor.”