WICKER PARK — For months now, fans of the cult-favorite skincare brand Deciem have anxiously awaited the opening of a Wicker Park Deciem location on Milwaukee Avenue.
But on Monday, Toronto-based Deciem’s founder and CEO Brandon Truaxe posted a startling video to Instagram and announced that he was closing the company due to “major criminal activity.”
“This is the final post of Deceim, which, we will shut down all operations until further notice, in about two months. Please take me seriously,” a frazzled-looking Truaxe tells fans in the video.
Truaxe’s behavior has been the subject of many stories in beauty magazines and websites in recent months, with Elle calling him a “loose cannon” who fired all of his U.S.-based workers and vowed to singlehandedly run the brand’s social media accounts.
Located at 1401 N. Milwaukee Ave., the Chicago store is slated to open this fall. Last week, the city issued a permit for the buildout.
On Tuesday, emails from Block Club to two public relations representatives at Deciem’s headquarters bounced back, with a message that they both no longer work at Deciem.
Robert Stiebel, Deciem’s landlord, said he was unaware of any possible closure and that construction is slated to begin soon.
“Last time I was in the place, it was filled with buildout supplies. I got the impression that the buildout wasn’t going to take that long,” Stiebel said. He told Block Club, “I am surprised and dismayed [if this is true]. This is the first I’ve heard of it not going forward.”
The news of a possible closure has created speculation among fans, some of whom are wondering if they should stockpile Deciem products.
Announced last spring, the new store is slated to be Deciem’s first Midwest shop and its sixth in the U. S., following four New York City locations and one in Miami.
The 1,920 square-foot storefront was most recently rented as wholesale showroom for Free People and long before that, it was home to the Imperial Men’s Clothing shop, which closed in 2008.
Truaxe started the company in 2013. Deciem offers more than 50 products and operates retail storefronts in Canada, Australia, England, Mexico and South Korea.
Deciem makes and sells The Ordinary, a range of skincare treatments centered around retinol, glycolic acid, and vitamin C, as well as a line of serums, NIOD (Non-Ivasive Options in Dermal Science). Kim Kardashian swears by it.