Update: The National Post is reporting that Toronto police responded to a possible suicide at 1:30 p.m. on Sunday at 33 Mill Street, a condominium building in the city’s Distillery District. There is no official cause of death at this time, but a police spokeswoman said that the incident was “being investigated as non-suspicious and non-criminal.”
Riyadh Swedaan, a longtime Deciem colleague who says he has been Truaxe’s boyfriend for “many years” and lived in the same apartment, told the publication that Truaxe had not been hospitalized since November, and was not under psychiatric care at the time of his death.
This story was originally published on January 21.
Supporters have taken to Truaxe's most recent Instagram posts to express their condolences as they process his passing.
Deciem's official Instagram account shared a photo of Truaxe, with a caption reading, "Brandon, our founder and friend. You touched our hearts, inspired our minds and made us believe that anything is possible. Thank you for every laugh, every learning and every moment of your genius. Whilst we can’t imagine a world without you, we promise to take care of each other and will work hard to continue your vision. May you finally be at peace. Love, (forever) your Deciem."
Truaxe founded Deciem in 2013 but was ousted as its CEO in October 2018 after posting a series of troubling videos on the brand’s Instagram page over the course of the year. About two weeks later, Leonard Lauder and Andrew Ross, both of beauty company Estée Lauder, were granted restraining orders against Truaxe following a threatening email. Estée Lauder owns a 28% stake in the company.
Current acting CEO Nicola Kilner informed Deciem employees of his death in an internal email, Vox reports. “I can’t believe I am typing these words,” Kilner wrote. “Brandon has passed away over the weekend. Heartbroken doesn’t come close to how I, and how I know many of you will be feeling. All offices, warehouses, factories, and stores please close today and take the time to cry with sadness, smile at the good times we had, reflect on what his genius built and hug your loved ones that little harder. We are all in disbelief and shock but I will be in touch again very soon. I love you all incredibly much, as did he.”
Deciem is known for its low-cost line The Ordinary. Truaxe pioneered a scientific approach, with affordable products containing single ingredients backed by dermatologic research. The company also houses other skin-care brands, including NIOD and Hylamide, a fragrance brand called Avestan, and hair care products.
If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or the Suicide Crisis Line at 1-800-784-2433.