NEW YORK — Daryl Kerrigan, who designs the edgy, yet feminine Daryl K. collection, will on March 30 close her store at 21 Bond Street here.
This story first appeared in the March 19, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Kerrigan moved into the Bond Street location in 1997, and has occupied it — albeit with some interruptions — for 25 years. “I’m beginning another chapter,” Kerrigan said. “It’s time.”
Kerrigan, who still calls herself an “indie” designer after more than a quarter century in business, has had her ups and downs in the fashion industry. She said that the store was taking up too much of her time and taking her away from designing. “I’m sad to leave Bond Street,” she said, but allowed that the street was too quiet in terms of retail traffic, and that her space was underutilized for retail, with her studio in the back of the store.
Kerrigan said she has a deal in the works but wouldn’t discuss it until it’s finalized. “There’s an expansion coming, which I’m excited about,” she said. “This might be the kind of deal that I’ve been looking for. It’s a matter of finding the right person to work with.”
Kerrigan, who launched her business in 1991, is understandably cautious about professional hook-ups. In April 1999 she sold a majority stake in Daryl K. to Pegasus Apparel Group, a high-flying startup that went on a spree in the late Eighties, buying majority stakes in designers such as Pamela Dennis and Miguel Adrover and handbag designer Judith Leiber. Pegasus, whose fortunes turned before too long, renamed itself Leiber Group and ceased production of Daryl K. in 2001.
The designer said another store is definitely in her future. “I really need to have one,” she said. “That’s how I began, by opening my store and relating to women.”
The designer plans to invest in her Web site, but admitted she hasn’t been “terribly active in promoting my wholesale business. Barneys New York was always my store, but since [its] huge shake-up, I’ve felt that the new [executive team] doesn’t understand its amazing customers.”
Never one to mince words, Kerrigan spoke out about the Council of Fashion Designers of America and fast fashion retailers. “There’s a lot of unhappiness with the show scene, everyone from designers to editors to buyers. Something needs to change. It’s just a parade of commercial goods right now. If you’re an indie designer, you’re providing the fast fashion companies with tons of material,” said Kerrigan, who more than a decade ago, settled a knockoff case out of court.