In the beauty industry, the corporation Deciem has long been known for its affordable high quality products and unique and innovated marketing strategy. But, they’re also known for their drama thanks to CEO and founder Brandon Truaxe.
Now, I personally have yet to try one of the Deciem brands, such as The Ordinary, or Niod. But since their inception, they’ve been cult-favorites and the older I get the more tempted I’ve been to try them. Every time I’m about to place an order however, drama erupts. And if you’ve been paying attention you’ll know that last week Truaze announced the closing of Deciem and all of its brands.
(don’t worry they’re back open now)
But how on earth did a cult-favorite beauty company get to this point of insanity?
In 2013, Deciem was launched (later becoming the corporation behind 10 cult-favorite beauty brands).
In August 2016, Deciem released The Ordinary which was a line of minimalistic, simplistic, yet high quality skin care products. This was the microbrand that blew up in the beauty world. And for good reason. Just to give you an idea of their pricing, you could get a bottle of retinoid serum for less than $10. That kind of pricing was unheard of in the beauty industry.
In June 2017 Estee Lauder began investing in Deciem and became a shareholder with a 28 percent stake.
In January 2018, drama began to unfold when people noticed that The Ordinary was running ads making fun of their competitor Drunk Elephant. Right after that controversy settled down Truaxe, began his crazy Instagram habit that arguably almost killed his brand. On the 24th of January he made the announcements that he would be canceling the marketing plans of Deciem for the future and will be talking to customers directly.
In February 2018, Truaxe announced on Instagram that he would no longer go by CEO and would instead go by “worker”. His reasoning for this change of title was that “responsible people don’t need a CEO”. Right after this, news of difficult working conditions including yelling emerged and more controversy and drama erupted online. Then on the 4th of February, Truaxe posted a series of videos showing litter and publically announced the end of the Decium’s partnership with “Peter of Mong Packaging”. He also offered a job at Decium to Peter of Mong Packaging on Instagram. A couple of days later Truaxe used Instagram to talk about ending Deciem’s partnership with Dr. Tijion Esho-cosmetic surgeon. When Elle interviewed Dr Esho later, he said that he never received payment or an official documented end of partnership while working with Decium. In addition to all of the public Instagram drama, Truaxe also let go his co-CEO of 5 years because she did not “subscribe to peaceful values”.
Obviously February was a rough month for Deciem, but the drama didn’t end there. In March 2018, Truaxe goes on Instagram to report a “racist” incident at the Ham Yard Hotel and threatens legal action. He also states that he has “allocated $100,000 to promote this post on Facebook and Instagram”. Two days later a piece is penned by David Yi asking if the Ordinary is “the Donald Trump of beauty”.
In April, a photo of a man who appeared homeless outside of a Deciem location was posted on Instagram, causing internet drama. Following the drama of the day, Truaxe let go of the ENTIRE U.S-based corporate staff. Was the photo a inkling of the firing to come? Who knows.
At the end of April, Truaxe posted two Instagram videos saying he was concerned about his safety and asking his followers to contact the police for him. A day after this incidence he posts another video in response to those concerned about his mental health saying those who believe he had metal health issues were “idiots”.
From April until October nothing major really happened, other than the ex-CEO being returned to her position.
Then on October 8th, Truaxe posted a video on Instagram geotagged with “The White House” announcing the shutdown of Decium due to “Major criminal activity” of “almost everyone” “which includes financial crimes and much others.”
He then continued by saying “You have no idea what a solider I’ve been… for more than 13 years, I’ve been made fun of as a porn actor, as a fucking drug dealer… it’s all ending now.” The Instagram video tagged a large group of people from George Clooney to Too Face, To British Beauty Blogger Caroline Hirons.
The Deciem’s website was then replaced with an entirely red screen.
Obviously with these announcements the beauty world went crazy. But on October 11th, Truaxe posted screenshots from Mark Gelowitz and Estee Lauder showing terms that had been violated and the shareholder agreements.
On October 12th, an injunction was officially granted and Truaxe was removed as the company’s CEO.
As of today, websites have been reinstated and most of the closed stores have been reopened.
So, the only question that remains: Is the drama with the Deciem finally over?