Brandon Truaxe, who was the first to launch headlines for the launch of 10 beauty brands at the same time and more recently made them for having been expelled from Deciem, the company he founded, died. An executive of the company confirmed the news in an email to Vox.
Acting CEO Nicola Kilner wrote in an e-mail to Deciem staff that Vox has reviewed:
I can not believe that I am writing these words. Brandon died on the weekend. With a broken heart you do not approach how I and how I know many of you will feel.
All the offices, warehouses, factories and stores, please close today and take the time to mourn with sadness, smile for the good times we had, reflect on what your genius built and embrace your loved ones with a little more force.
We are all in disbelief and in shock, but I will be in touch again very soon.
I love you all incredibly, as he did.
It has been a tumultuous year for the company and its controversial founder Brandon Truaxe. Deciem, which is headquartered in Toronto, gained more followers and reportedly earned more than $ 300 million in sales after launching The Ordinary, a skincare brand whose products cost primarily less than $ 10. He had created much of of the company's messages personally, calling it "Abnormal Beauty Company." He was a peculiar and charismatic founder who personally connected with consumers.
At the beginning of 2018, however, Truaxe began to obtain negative publicity for the company when it began publishing strange and troubling messages on the company's Instagram. Estee Lauder, a minority investor in the company, took legal action against Truaxe in October 2018 after he posted on Instagram that the company should be closed immediately due to "financial crimes" that he said had been committed. (Until now there has been no proof that this is the case). A lawyer for the cosmetics giant told a judge that Truaxe "has essentially set the company on fire," according to a CBC report. The judge dismissed Truaxe as CEO and appointed Nicola Kilner as interim CEO (Kilner had previously been co-CEO, then was fired by Truaxe, but was recently reinstated to the company). A few days later, a judge issued a restraining order against Truaxe after the founder sent emails to Estée Lauder's president emeritus Leonard Lauder and other executives who were considered threatening. Vox approached Estee Lauder to make a comment.
A December report from the Financial Post of Canada revealed that Truaxe had been hospitalized on suspicion of mental health problems. Truaxe denied having been diagnosed with a mental illness, but admitted using several drugs.
Truaxe had been posting erratic videos and messages on his personal Instagram page in recent weeks. His last four publications, since January 19, were only videos of his penthouse in Toronto, whose address he made public. The commentators expressed concern about their declared alcohol consumption, as they stated that they were drinking tequila. One wrote: "BE SAFE."
Truaxe was 40 years old.
We will update this story in development as more information becomes available.
Want more stories from The Goods by Vox? Subscribe to our newsletter here.