Brandon Truaxe, the man behind Deciem, AKA ‘The Abnormal Beauty Brand’, has passed away at the age of 40. On January 21, Deciem announced on Instagram that their former CEO had died the previous weekend.
Truaxe had a somewhat colorful time at Deciem before departing the company in 2018. However, despite any reports of controversy between Truaxe and the beauty brand, it’s safe to say that their former leader created a legacy to be proud of.
A beauty brand with a difference
Brandon Truaxe launched Deciem in 2013 as an umbrella company. Prior to that, he’d studied computer science and started Euoko, another skin care brand. Truaxe became infamous when he launched ten sub beauty brands concurrently as part of the Deciem brand. The stand out item was a hand cream known as Hand Chemistry, which sold out in Boots instantly.
However, real success was achieved when, in 2016, The Ordinary brand was unveiled. Beauty lovers were so taken by the products that 25,000 people were put on a waiting list for their much-anticipated range of foundations. It was then that global brand Estée Lauder Companies invested in the company, providing it with a much-needed cash injection and the opportunity to expand further.
At the turn of 2018, Truaxe upset fellow skincare brand Drunk Elephant on social media over their pricing. Things continued to take a downward turn on social media, when Truaxe started posting bizarre images of garbage cans, a homeless man and a dead sheep, stating that the company would never test on animals.
Multiple staff firings than proceeded, which included long-standing Co-CEO Nicola Kilner, and the entire U.S Deciem team. But, it was his subsequent erratic behavior which sparked concern among Deciem fans and his fellow workers.
In October, he announced that the entire brand was closing down. However, Estée Lauder quickly refuted the claims and Truaxe was ultimately removed from his post in the company.
Brandon Truaxe was never afraid to voice his opinion on the beauty industry. Refinery29 reports that he had plans to out three big sunscreen brands during a “social media rampage” after tests proved that they contained significantly less SPF than they stated. Meanwhile, he couldn’t hide his disgust when it was announced that a big beauty brand was taking their products to China so that they could legally test on animals.
“Here’s the thing – I could never do that. I would feel sick knowing there are animals having my products squirted into their eyes. As brands, we have the power to not play ball and refuse, and change will come.”
Prior to Truaxe’s death, he was hospitalized on multiple occasions due to his mental health. Although, he vehemently denied being mentally ill. There’s nothing to indicate that his mental health played any involvement in his death, which occurred during the weekend of January 19 in Canada.
Understandably, the Deciem team were shocked following the news of Truaxe’s death. The company’s official Instagram page promised to do him proud, stating: “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.” Nicola Kilner added that, “Heartbroken doesn’t come close to how I, and how I know many of you will be feeling.”
During his short life, Brandon Truaxe achieved significant success, especially with the Deciem brand. And, it’s safe to say that his innovative products and no-nonsense approach has helped to turn the industry on is head.