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Buzzy Beauty Company Deciem to Open Its First US Store

Estée Lauder is investing in the makers of affordable skincare brand The Ordinary.

Photo: Deciem

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Hot on the heels of the news that Estée Lauder’s experiment with the Estée Edit was coming to an end after only a year comes some positive news for the company. It’s continuing its strategy of investing in indie brands by announcing that it’s taken a minority stake in Toronto-based Deciem.

The two brands are not disclosing the amount of the investment. Fabrizio Freda, president and CEO of The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. said in a release, “Through its unique business model, Deciem has produced some of the most creative independent brands on the market, capturing the passion and trust of devoted fans around the world — and they are just getting started. We look forward to engaging with the team and supporting their global growth aspirations.”

A representative for the company has also confirmed that the company will be opening its first US store this summer, in New York City on Fifth Avenue near the New York Public Library. Deciem currently has 10 stores internationally in places like London, Canada, Seoul, Australia, and Mexico City. Otherwise you can purchase product on its website and at various retailers.

Deciem was founded by Brandon Truaxe in 2013 (read the full story here) and has since blown up. It uses the unusual strategy of producing 10 different sub-brands at once (with several more currently in development), rather than focusing on one product or even one brand at a time, the way so many indie brands do.

Deciem’s most popular brands are The Ordinary, a super affordable line of skincare featuring minimal ingredients and price points well below $10, and Niod, a more expensive and complex line of skincare. You can purchase The Ordinary online at Beautylish and ASOS, where, according to WWD, it’s the retailer’s fastest-selling beauty brand.

It hasn’t been smooth sailing for Deciem, though. Its popularity (its direct-to-consumer business is up 1,250 percent over the last 12 months, per WWD) has led to a lot of delays in delivering product and customer service snafus. Customers, including some of us here at Racked, often waited weeks for orders to arrive. The company has always been open and apologetic about these delays on social media, and in an Instagram post about the Lauder investment, the company wrote, “We are really emotional today because we know that, together with ELC, we are going to lead innovation in beauty and bring you more and more of very good things (and less and less of very bad delays).”

A recent example of a frustrating delay: The Ordinary released highly anticipated foundations a few months ago and promptly received orders for 250,000. It took many weeks to work through the waitlist, and a rep for the company reports that some popular shades are still out of stock.

This cash infusion will be used to staff up and get product out more quickly, as well as open more brick-and-mortar stores. While this should all be good news for customers, some have not been excited about the Estée Lauder investment, calling Deciem “sellouts” on social media. Animal testing is also a big concern for many customers, and while Estée Lauder states it no longer tests on animals, there’s a loophole in its policy: “If a regulatory body demands it for its safety or regulatory assessment, an exception can be made.” Deciem’s rep sent a statement to Racked: “We have never and will never test on animals.”

Deciem calls itself “the abnormal beauty company,” and its quirkiness is what its fans love. Maintaining authenticity while being partially funded by one of the biggest cosmetics companies in the world is going to be challenging, but seeing what the company does with all that money is an exciting prospect.

Update: July 17th, 2017, 9:30 a.m.

Deciem just announced via its Instagram page that it’s opening up a slew of new US stores in 2017 and 2018. It’s already started work on a store in Miami to open “really soon,” and later in 2017 it will open “multiple locations” in New York City as well as one in San Francisco. The company is also looking for locations in Chicago and Los Angeles and anticipates having stores there in 2018. It’s also putting more international stores in Toronto, Vancouver, London, Manchester, Berlin, Amsterdam, Madrid, and Hong Kong.

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