A women reacts outside the beauty supply store Deciem as it has closed all locations unexpectedly in Toronto on Tuesday, October 9, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette

Toronto-based beauty brand closes doors citing ‘criminal activity’

Deciem founder abruptly shutters stores until further notice

A Toronto-based beauty brand that has become a cult hit and garnered attention from the likes of Kim Kardashian West is abruptly closing all of its stores.

Brandon Truaxe, the founder of Deciem, said in an Instagram video he posted over the weekend that he is shutting down operations until further notice.

Truaxe did not give a clear reason for the closure of the stores, which are often emblazoned with ”the Abnormal Beauty Company” slogan, but alludes to criminal charges in the video.

“Please take me seriously,” he said. “Almost everyone at Deciem has been involved in a major criminal activity, which includes financial crimes and much other. You have no idea what a soldier I have been for 13 years.”

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.

A post shared by THE ABNORMAL BEAUTY COMPANY (@deciem) on

Truaxe listed his location for the post as the White House and named and tagged dozens of high-profile brands and people, including George Clooney, Brad Pitt, RBC, U.S. President Donald Trump and recent Deciem investor Estee Lauder Companies Inc. in the missive.

In a statement made to The Canadian Press, Estee Lauder distanced itself from the matter by calling it a “minority” investor in the brand, and noting ”we do not control the company’s operations, social media or personnel decisions.”

Truaxe’s mysterious post comes years after he founded Deciem in 2013 and shot to fame with droves of loyal fans, including Kim Kardashian West, who once raved about the brand’s The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid Two per cent Emulsion Serum.

Deciem sold its products, which include the popular The Ordinary line, online, in various department stores and at about 30 stores it opened in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., Mexico, South Korea and the Netherlands.

On Tuesday, Deciem’s website noted almost all of them were closed and the phone went unanswered when The Canadian Press tried to reach managers at several locations.

Deciem spokespeople did not respond to requests for comment.

Square One, a mall west of Toronto where Deciem was a tenant, said it did not receive advance notice of the decision to shutter the stores.

“Square One was made aware of the closure at the same time it was made public,” a spokesman said in an email, noting that it would not comment on ”business decisions of any of our tenants.

Truaxe’s Instagram post announcing the store closure was not the first time he caught attention for his social media missives. In January, he posted about an attempted hack on Deciem’s Instagram page, saying “This could be a past employee, someone who doesn’t like us, a competitor, we don’t really know but we’re going to find out.”

Days later he was telling his followers that he was dropping his chief executive officer title in favour of “worker.”

“Responsible people don’t need CEOs and our team has been really responsible,” he said. “I’ve never liked any of my bosses in my life, so I don’t want to be a boss; I want to be a friend. I want people to be my friend and not my employee.”

In February, he posted a handful of videos of garbage piles with captions promising to eliminate plastic shopping bags, droppers and foundation bottles. It’s unclear if he ever made good on the promise.

A remark from Truaxe to a social media follower in February angered some of the brand’s fans enough for them to begin posting images of burning Deciem products.

Truaxe then ousted his co-CEO Nicola Kilner and the brand’s chief financial officer Stephen Kaplan stepped down.

Tara Deschamps, The Canadian Press

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