Yesterday, the founder of cult-favourite beauty brand Deciem, Brandon Truaxe, who is no stranger to controversy, posted twice on Instagram—once on his personal account and once on Deciem’s account—about a recent run-in he and his team had with an employee at a hotel in London.
I used to love @firmdale_hotels. I’m staying with my beautiful team of DECIEM at their Ham Yard Hotel in London. Our beautiful @hangeingejnr from Namibia is visiting London with us. We all walked in the hotel after our peaceful dinner at @dishoom and the hotel staff stopped him only, the one single black person in our group, and ask him for his room key to be allowed in. After speaking with the general “manager”, he refused to request that the woman who stopped my beautiful friend and colleague to go to him and apologize and instead he apologized to me. Kit Kemp, I have admired you and your creative beauty for years. You should bring the same beauty out in your staff. Crosby Street Hotel has the most beautiful humans and friends as staff. Ham Yard to me is a racist hell in London now. My counsel, Jonathan, will begin a claim immediately for actual and punitive damages. Goodbye to you, Ham Yard. “Ham” is very appropriate in this context. We have allocated $100,000 to promote this post on Facebook and Instagram. Just cancelled all bookings at Soho Hotel managed by the same racist group. Brandon
What allegedly happened at the Ham Yard Hotel sounds pretty terrible. No one should be treated that way, so Truaxe and Oshouli Hangeinge (the Namibian Deciem employee he references) have every right to be upset. That said, there are a few things to unpack here.
First of all, this is the same man who has lost his cool publicly a few times. In January, he not-so-subtly shaded competing beauty brand Drunk Elephant, stating that you’d “have to be drunk to overpay for Marula.” Then, he severed ties with a U.K.-based partner over Instagram, and when a commentor asked if Truaxe was ok amidst all this weirdness, he responded by suggesting she use one of Deciem’s anti-inflammatory products.
And if all that isn’t enough, there are several Glassdoor reviews that accuse Truaxe of nepotism, harassment and bullying. So if Truaxe really believes a company can be judged by the actions of just one employee, it’s a wonder Deciem still exists.
On to the money. It’s incredibly confusing that Deciem would publicly state that they spent $100,000 to boost Truaxe’s story on both Instagram and Facebook. Obviously, this will increase the visibility of his message, but as @glolarvae commented on the above Instagram post, “I mean you could have allocated [sic] the 100k to organizations that help black folks but ok.”
So there you have it. Add it to the list of Deciem drama.
FLARE reached out to Deciem for comment, but did not hear back by press time. We will update this post as more information becomes available.