Deciem appeared to be in business-as-usual mode Monday, even after founder Brandon Truaxe proclaimed the business would cease operations for two months.
“This is the final post of Deciem, which we will shut down all operation until further notice, which is about two months,” Truaxe said in a video on Instagram on Monday. He did not immediately respond to a WWD request for comment, nor did co-chief executive officer Nicola Kilner, who rejoined the business in July. The Toronto-based business was said to be closed on Monday for Canadian Thanksgiving.
“Please take me seriously…almost everyone at Deciem has been involved in a major criminal activity, which includes financial crimes,” Truaxe alleged on the social media platform.
Despite those statements, the company’s New York locations were up and running Monday afternoon — asked about the Instagram post, one employee said the store was not closing.
The Estée Lauder Cos., which made a minority investment in Deciem in 2017, said, “The Estée Lauder Companies is a minority investor in Deciem, and as such, we do not control the company’s operations, social media or personnel decisions.” Lauder owns 28 percent of the business, Truaxe told WWD in a prior interview.
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Monday’s confusion is just the latest incident during a complicated year for Deciem.
The fast-growing company first attracted attention for its line of scientifically named, affordable skin-care products under The Ordinary. At The Ordinary, one of Deciem’s many subbrands, products like Retinol 0.5% in Squalane and Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% sell for $5.80. The business has several other brands, including The Chemistry Brand, which sells Inhibitif Deodorant, $7, and Glow Oil, a $28 DHA-free self-tan alternative, and Niod, which sells higher-end products — $25 to $60 — at Net-a-porter and other retailers.
But in more recent months, the business has instead garnered buzz because of Truaxe’s erratic Instagram posts, which have spanned from normal operational announcements to recent allegations of criminal activity. During that time though, business is said to have soared. As of July, Deciem was said to have about $300 million in sales, up from $140 million in December.
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