After working as a costume designer for film, Daryl Kerrigan launched Daryl K in 1991 in New York, first on East Sixth Street, then on Bond Street. In 1996, she received the Perry Ellis Award for emerging talent, from the Council Of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA).
What made you return to the runway last season?
There are moments in time when what I do becomes more relevant to others, but my own relevance is constant. The time was right personally and culturally — I found a way to fuse the energy of the countryside into my collection which gave me something new to say.
What are you planning for this September’s Fashion Week?
For September, I plan on celebrating my 20th anniversary collection with a presentation at the Gavin Brown Enterprise Gallery. We have always used “real women” on the runway, or what I like to refer to as those everyday “unreal women” that inspire me. The Spring 2011 collection is an expression of fluidity in terms of the fabrics and shapes. This season also marks a continuation into my exploration into prints, with a collaboration of printed silks and jerseys with the New York City artist Spencer Sweeney. The brushwork and color sense in Spencer’s paintings make a bold statement and bring a new energy to simple shapes through collages and detailing.
What was your favorite presentation? Why?
On top of a flatbed truck, in the Gagosian Gallery on 21st Street, when it was still a truck parking garage. I was very honored when Joey Ramone attended this show, and could hear his music played.
Do you feel local style has changed in the East Village? Have you begun to collect inspiration from anywhere else?
The East Village has definitely maintained a core sensibility that is inspired by 70s / 80s downtown style. As with any changing neighborhood, a clash of styles can bring out the snarls of long-term locals who have solidified a quintessential sub-cult flavor. I have been on Bond St. for virtually 20 years and I find that my style, although naturally varied over the seasons, has a kind of East Village continuity, yes.
As for inspiration – it is really whatever catches me in the moment – viscerally, conceptually and politically.
You have been experimenting with tiedye and textile design in the back of the studio on Bond Street and selling them exclusively at the store. Are these items you’ll ever recreate for production?
My store is the perfect test ground for new products. If my customers embrace them, I typically incorporate the designs into future collections. What we have been experimenting with is based on the Japanese Shibori dyeing techniques.
How have your customers been responding to your recent accessories launch?
Everything we have produced so far has sold out. We are all excitedly anticipating the new sandal designs based on a similar shape that will be available in Spring 2012.
Is your following strongest in the US?
Yes, the US is our strongest market, even though lately we have a huge demand for our leather leggings overseas, especially Australia.