What’s Hap­pen­ing At De­ciem?

WWD Digital Daily - - News - BY AL­LI­SON COLLINS

De­spite the founder’s an­nounce­ment that the busi­ness was ceas­ing op­er­a­tions, stores were open Mon­day.

De­ciem ap­peared to be in busi­ness-asusual 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.

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 skin­care 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 DHAfree 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.

A look at De­ciem’sToronto store.

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