BERLIN — Danielle Ryan is on a roll. The Irish businesswoman was in the German capital Wednesday introducing her new fragrance line Roads at Galeries Lafayette Berlin with the aid of a white and silver truck that functions as an on-the-go center highlighting the 10 scents.
Fragrances are just one part of the Roads creative venture, which includes a publishing arm and a film production division. It’s the first foray into scent for the 30-year-old, whose grandfather founded budget airline Ryanair.
“I come from a very entrepreneurial background, so I never get worried about giving something a try,” she said. “And I don’t get too worried about the idea that something could fail.”
In the case of Roads fragrances, that seems unlikely — the fledgling brand has strong support from Intertrade Europe chief executive officer Celso Fadelli, who worked closely with Ryan to develop the line.
“It’s a very democratic brand, it’s easy to understand,” said Fadelli, who was in Berlin for the launch. “It’s clever, intellectual, and at the moment is what the market is probably looking for.”
Fadelli said the scents have already made a splash, selling on average 12 to 15 units per day, per sales location, and performing beyond expectations. The scents began rolling out this spring after being previewed at Pitti Fragranza last year.
Ryan’s path to perfume was an unusual one. While setting up the Lir National Academy of Dramatic Art in Dublin, the classically trained actress became interested in how scents and fragrances were being used in immersive theater to enhance the audience’s experience.
“For me, it was another angle of storytelling that I actually really liked, this medium of art, this play within,” she told WWD. Not expecting anything to come of her new interest, she just kept following paths, learning about perfumery, meeting perfumers, then forging an alliance with Fadelli and Intertrade, culminating in the creation of the 10 fragrances currently in the Roads line, in about two years. Each of the scents is inspired by a story, according to Ryan. They boast names including “This Weekend,” “Graduate 1954,” “Harmattan” and “Bitter End.”
Ryan said her team was already at work on the next round of scents for next year, which are inspired by aspects of modern Africa, such as its dances and writers. One in particular takes a speech of Nobel Prize Laureate Wole Soyinka as an unexpected launch point.
“Which is hard to do for a fragrance,” she conceded. “But actually we said ‘use a lot of trees,’ for the idea of strength, and there are a lot of herbs there that are quite fragrant, but are indestructible, so they spread really quickly.”
Roads fragrances are available in numerous global department stores and perfumeries including U.S. Barneys New York locations, Brown Thomas in Ireland, Selfridges in the U.K., Avery Perfume Gallery in Italy and Jovoy Paris. Roads’ next stop will be Moscow. The 50-ml. eau de parfum is priced at 98 euros, 98 pounds, and $155.
Ryan’s Roads Entertainment has seven films in preproduction, which are slated to be shown in winter 2015 at the Sundance, Cannes and Berlin film festivals; her publishing company will release several books in September. What’s next for Ryan is anyone’s guess, but it will probably succeed as long as she has creative room to roam.
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye
"Nowadays when life is not so happy with everything going on in the world, I think people come to me for a little bit of whimsy and color and fun." - Designer Rebecca De Ravenel on her cult-favorite jewelry line. (📸 : @vsteves) #wwd40
“Everyone is talking about how the retail industry is struggling, but I think it’s an incredible time because brands who are doing something different and innovative are setting themselves up for the future,” said @adamgoldston, who founded the luxury athletic brand @apl with his brother @ryangoldsten. The Goldston’s are part of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables. See the rest of the list on WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
@eyeswoon blogger Athena Calderone debuted her first-ever cookbook, “Cook Beautiful,” which is heavily centered on the presentation and visual expression of food. Pictured here are her miso glazed carrots from the book. Get the recipe on WWD.com. (📷: @johnny_miller_) #wwdeye
“It’s passion that helps get anybody to a certain point and it’s what’s propelled me,” said Kith founder @ronniefieg, one of WWD’s 40 under 40: a group of industry notables who are changing the face of retail, fashion and beauty. Fieg, who opened a Manhattan flagship on October 7, began his career at age 13 as a stock boy and salesman for footwear chain David Z. “I think staying true to [my] beliefs, hard work and passion have gotten me to where [Kith] is today.” See the rest of the 40 at WWD.com. (📷: @vsteves) #wwd40
25-year-old @samweaving is about to break out this fall, starring in Netflix’s horror film “The Babysitter,” fittingly out today on Friday the 13th. That’s not the only place you’ll be seeing her, though — Weaving’s got a role Showtime’s “SMILF” and another alongside Frances McDormand and Woody Harrelson in “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri.” Though she’s got a full plate at the moment, there’s one role she’s got her eye on: Marilyn Monroe. “I’m a little too young at the moment, but it’s on my bucket list,” the actress told WWD (📷: @dandoperalski) #wwdeye
BFF's Poppy Jamie and Suki Waterhouse celebrated the launch of their bag line Pop x Suki at Nordstrom last night. "The line is really about our friendship, and how we are so different but complement each other," said Waterhouse. 👯 (📷: Katie Jones) #wwdeye
After designing the new @louisvuitton and @bulgariofficial flagships and a @chanelofficial boutique opening in Japan, @petermarinoarchitect has another project on his plate: The Lobster Club. Located in the Seagram Building, it’s the famed architect’s first restaurant project in New York, serving up modern Japanese brasserie-style cuisine. Bronze hues, bespoke material detailing, blush and chartreuse tones and a heavy emphasis on Picasso can be seen throughout. Mark your calendars for Nov. 1 for the much-anticipated opening. (📷: @clint_spaulding) #wwdeye