Update (Oct. 10, 2018)
An email, allegedly sent by the founder of Deciem, Brandon Truaxe, to a supposed employee on 8th October, states that all bricks and mortar Deciem stores in the UK (with the exception of the Spitalfields branch in London), are to be closed immediately until 2019.
The email in question was leaked to Cosmopolitan UK on 9th October, and is claimed to read, "Please close all UK stores except the one near Spit-a-Field Mark iT [sic] as of immediately and until February 2019."
However, when Refinery29 headed down to the Spitalfields store on 10 October, it was closed. We found a handful of customers outside, confused as to why the store wasn't open. One loyal customer, who was aware of Brandon's decision to close down the brand until further notice told R29, "My whole entire skincare routine is The Ordinary, so I don't know what I'm going to do without my products. Hopefully they'll relaunch in 2019, fingers crossed."
According to Cosmopolitan UK, the alleged email also states that any employee who "disrespects the guidance […] will be terminated tomorrow."
Refinery29 has contacted various stockists for comment.
A Lookfantastic spokesperson responded: “By way of background, we’ve got a great relationship with both Brandon and Deciem. We acquired the Grow Gorgeous brand from Deciem a few years ago and work in close partnership across their rapidly growing brand portfolio, including The Ordinary. We are aware of the issues raised and sincerely hope for all involved that a positive outcome is achieved. As a fast-paced company ourselves, we know all too well the challenges of moving so quickly, and so we’re thinking about all involved and hope things get resolved very soon.”
This story was originally published on October 9, 2018.
Taking to Instagram, Truaxe posted an emotional and confusing video in which he speaks of "major criminal activity". In the one-minute clip, he talks directly to the camera in the back of a car next to two men he says are colleagues. "Hi everyone I am Brandon Truaxe founder of Deciem," he starts, before announcing the closure of the brand. "This is the final post of Deciem," he continues. "We will shut down all operations until further notice – we have two months. Please take me seriously."
View this post on Instagram
Without filters. A revolution is coming. Every one of you who has been laughing aT me will with certainty face criminal prosecution. Estée Lauder Companies Inc. has been the biggest stock promotion. Richard Duntas, Bernard Ass (LVMH), Marica “Tracy” (Bliss, Remedè, Soaper Due Per Shoe), Hyatt (Grand Hyatt, Andaz, er al), Marriott (St. Regis, W, Marriot, et al), So many porn “studios”, nearly all @deciem employees, most of “Hollywood”, Gill Sinclair, India Knight, Caroline Hirons, India Knight, RBC, BMO, Boots, KKR, most of the Lauder family, Estée Lauder Companies Inc., Karim Kanji, Antonio Tadrisi, DF Mc, LVMH, Dia Fooley, Michael Davidson, Hanif, Zark Fatah, Inditex (Zara, Massimo Dutti, etc), H&M, $100 monkey, Too Faced (founders too), TSG, Alshaya, Amanresorts, Erwin Zecha, Oliver Zecha, Steven R Riddle, the Coc and Corcky managers, PRIDE organizers, IT Cosmetics, Nicola L ReadingTons, all of Dishoom, All of Delaunay, David Yurman, Tom Ford, Tim Cooke. McKesson, Rexall, Jamin Asaria, David Jackson, York Heritage and others — sentencing doesn’t begin with any point but sentences like this one do. Ben Affleck, Brad Pitt, George Clooney, Michael Less, Stephen Spellberg e.T., AON are also included with certainty. ARGO stood for “Ali Roshan GO”. You idiots. Father, please please be safe if you can for the next few hours. I love you all. -Brandon (RIYADH, please be EXTREMELY CAREFUL in the next few hours). Aurora (TSX) : you are finished. Michael Basler, Gordon Wilde, David Trinder, Eric Jacobs, Allan Gerlings, Dalton Pharma SS, Michael OH CON ELLE, Charm IS T A 007, Robert Jones, Cascade, Prince Al Walid, The White Company, Obagi (brand and doctor), Freedom Health, ESHO-isT, Alexandru Serban and baggage, Apotex: Goodbye also. Peace is coming. ?? ?. It’s clear now. @esteelaudercompanies @richardbranson @realdonaldtrump @gowlingwlg_ca @zuck @musicianjessecook, et. al.
Truaxe adds: "I am not able to control the sentencing of the beautiful people just mentioned [...] if they are involved, but almost everyone at Deciem has been involved in a major criminal activity, which includes financial crimes and much others. You have no idea what a soldier I have been over 13 years. I have been made fun of as a porn actor and as a fucking drug dealer and everything for 13 years. It's all ending now." Truaxe then stops recording.
The video, in which Truaxe is almost close to tears, is accompanied by a long, unintelligible caption, where he mentions celebrities such as George Clooney, Brad Pitt and Ben Affleck, and brings other brands like IT Cosmetics into the equation, before finishing, "Goodbye also. Peace is coming" and tagging the likes of Estée Lauder, Richard Branson and Donald Trump at the end.
This isn't the first time Truaxe has caused a stir and confusion online. In February, he was accused of cutting the company's marketing team, taking control of Deciem's social media accounts, announcing the discontinuation of one of the company's lines without telling Dr. Tijion Esho, who collaborated on the project, and blocking or insulting fans who told him they were concerned about his behaviour and allegations of racism on his part. During this time, news also emerged that Deciem's co-CEO, Nicola Kilner, had been ousted from the company.
After a customer took to Twitter to ask US beauty website Beauty Lish if they would still be able to purchase The Ordinary products "after the situation with Deciem", they responded: "We only have a small bit left and will no longer carry The Ordinary or any Deciem products as the founder has discontinued our partnership. Don’t worry we’ll have something coming to replace for you. In the meantime stock up!" Deciem also cut ties with Sephora earlier this year.
Understandably, lovers of the brand are worried, with a lot of people taking to social media to vent their frustration at the prospect of their favourite products being discontinued forever. "Just trying to wrap my head around the Deciem/The Ordinary stuff. Initial thoughts are, can I just go and quickly stock up on hyaluronic acid before things go totally tits up?" wrote one, while another said, "My favourite skincare line EVER, the Toronto-made icon that is Deciem/ The Ordinary is temp shutting down??? Call the police I’m about to collapse." Since the post went live, a lot of people have expressed concern for Truaxe too.
Truaxe hasn't posted anything else since, but fans are holding on to his "until further notice" statement, hoping that the brand will resume operations soon.
Refinery29 has reached out to Deciem for comment.