Daryl Kerrigan was born in 1964 in Dublin, Ireland. She studied fashion at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, before moving to New York in 1986. For some time she worked in a giant warehouse sorting second hand clothes for thrift-shop dealers.
Next she went into costume design, working on about 20 films, including "My cousin Vinnie".
Along the way Daryl married Paul Leonard and had two children daughter Liadan and son Fionn, but she hasn't let it slow her down.
In 1991, she set up shop in the East Village. She says "everyone said I was mad, nobody but tramps went down there" but word spread and a nearby record shop called 99X helped to attract a more design-conscious crowd.
She now has a Daryl K line, her main line, and a diffusion range K 189.
Kerrigan was determined to design the perfect pair of Jeans. Her boot-cut hipster jeans, dubbed "low riders" were partly inspired by 70's hiphuggers she found in the vintage warehouse. These jeans were to make her name and become the mainstay of her collections.
In 1996, she was awarded the CFDA Perry Ellis New Talent Award for womenswear.
She also makes stretchy tube tops, drawstring nylon skirts and zip-up jersey sweat jackets. She makes white jeans out of washable stretch microvelvet. She prefers to use washable, easy to wear fabrics.
In London, her clothes are seen at Browns and Harvey Nichols stores.
Her Fall 2001 show was held in a massive warehouse on West 26th Street, in New York. It was the ideal location for the queen of downtown cool with awe-inspiring views of the city. A tough chic theme was interspersed with pretty schoolgirl minis and turtlenecks. Kerrigan's models were dressed to kill.
Just prior to this, the Leiber group (then called Pegasus Apparel) acquired her Daryl K and K-189 labels. But the luxury fashion group stopped distribution of garments from her Fall 2001 collection and closed her stores in New York and Los Angeles.
However, Daryl refused to lay down and die. She repurchased the rights to her name and launched her label once again with a small capsule collection at Henri Bendel in October 2002. Her offering for Fall 2003 included affordable basics and more refined pieces. She is recreating herself with a sexy, superfocused collection.
In 2004 she also reopened her store in New York, which she lost two years ago. She is now back at Bendels and Barneys and the whole fashion world is cheering for her.