If you've been following the drama with Deciem founder/CEO Brandon Truaxe, we've got a gift for you. If you haven't, let's catch you up quickly before we dive into this abyss. Either way, pour yourself a glass of wine, because this shit is a mess.
Truaxe is the founder and CEO of Deciem, a skincare company with several smaller brands. The Ordinary is their most popular brand; they sell serums loaded with scientifically-proven ingredients that are beneficial to skin at astoundingly low prices. People love The Ordinary: it's stocked at Sephora and Beautylish, and the New Yorker wrote that the brand "makes customers feel as though they have somehow beaten the system, reaping the benefits of skin care without getting sucked into the beauty-industrial complex." In any case, $10 beauty serums are a blessing in a world where such products can cost over $100.
Unfortunately, the story doesn't stop there. Truaxe has decided to place himself front and center of the brand's social media and marketing, and uses Deciem's Instagram account to alienate the brand's customers. On their Instagram page, he's posted bizarre, rambling videos, photos of trash, and most recently, a photo of a homeless woman outside The Ordinary's upcoming Fifth Avenue store in New York City. Truaxe has even used the company's Instagram page to fire his employees. In any other company, this behavior would not be tolerated, but Truaxe insists that he doesn't need a social media team: the brand's "transparent" ethos means he can run their social marketing like a drama scrapbook. "The founder is screwed up!" blasts Truaxe's About page on Deciem's own site. The image splash above in this post is a screenshot; we didn't add that text! Truaxae calls himself "screwed up." He truly leaves us all scratching our heads and asking why, why, why.
Today, Racked did the Lord's work and interviewed Truaxe about the controversy he's been causing. The entire interview is messy as hell, but there are some select quotes that are making us wonder about Truaxe's, uh, greater cognition. If you find yourself re-reading his quotes, it's because he switches subjects mid-sentence; sometimes he makes no sense at all. Some choice bits are below.
Defending the photo that he posted of a homeless person: "Actually, this person is disrespectful to the beauty of the library; he is disrespectful to the beauty of Fifth Avenue."
Responding to retail store employees who claimed the Deciem store in Soho didn't have a sink or bathroom: "Those people are going to leave on their own. We have another store next door that's empty with a sink. Why do they need the goddamned sink in this store?"
Teasing some big announcement this weekend: "I'm about to do something that's going to communicate more love, much more love, this weekend. It's going to cause a lot more stir. This weekend is going to be hard on our social media team, who don't even know that it's coming...they don't know how much pain they're going to go through for no reason this weekend."