The 90s is an era that will never die: the clothes, the music, and the culture repeat over and over again. The fashion, in particular, is a legend, appearing on catwalks around the world even now.
The Irish, too, has played a hand in inspiring global fashion, with the Aran sweater becoming an icon in its own right. It seems fitting then that an Irish fashion star like Daryl K would bring a new twist to an old favorite with her reimaging of the Aran sweater.
From skinny trousers to Aran sweaters
Irish designer Daryl K was hugely influential to the ‘90s scene. Her famous Hip Hugger Bootleg Jean was a staple of the wardrobe of any self-respecting downtown New Yorker, earning famous fans like Kim Gordon, frontwoman of Sonic Youth, and Joey Ramone.
Born and raised in Dublin, Daryl K studied fashion design in the National College of Art and Design, an Irish haunt for burgeoning artists and fashion types, before making the move to New York in 1986.
Initially working in film, she set up a fashion shop with a production studio out the back in New York’s East Village in 1991. In the years that followed, Daryl K’s brand grew through word-of-mouth and iconic pieces, drawing celebrity advocates and a cult following on New York’s fashion scene.
Much as fans came for the fashion, they stayed for fashion shows that soon gained legendary status for their unusual staging: an empty swimming pool, a former bank, the top of a flatbed truck and a parking garage. Joey Ramone came along to the latter to hear his music being played.
More than a decade later and Daryl K is returning to her Irish roots by teaming up with the Irish Store for the release of a line of Aran sweaters.
Aran sweaters: a modern twist on an old yarn
First originating off the western coast of Ireland, the Aran sweater was knit by the women of the islands for their families. The sweaters exploded in popularity during the 1950s and ‘60s, spawning an important new Irish industry.
Initially worn by fishermen, the sweater became an icon of cool and was triumphed by the US edition of Vogue in the ‘50s. Famous fans of the knit sweater included Steve McQueen and Grace Kelly, with the trend sweeping through much of America.
It’s a trend that continues to this day, especially with the diaspora, ex-pats, and Irish emigrants who still think fondly of home. In fact, it was a trip home to Ireland that brought about the idea for Daryl K.
During a walk along a beautiful beach in Donegal with the Irish Store’s Lulu O’Sullivan, Daryl had an idea for a new Aran sweater that’d be lighter and softer and made from new material.
Inspired by the untamed beauty and grandeur of Ireland, Daryl K and the Irish Store have teamed up for an exclusive new take on the classic Aran sweater. The color palette taps into the rich hues of the Wild Atlantic: the bottomless blues, deep greens, and charcoal greys of a stunning landscape that seems never-ending along the coast of Ireland.
Merging colors and yarns, the Daryl K collection takes the traditional Aran stitching patterns and gives them a new twist and anode, too, to Ireland and its sea. Built for Daryl’s trademark comfort and elegance, the Aran cardigan is a fresh take on an old classic and comes in two distinct styles.
1. Boyfriend Cardigan by Daryl K, available in blue and charcoal for $199.
2. Aran Cardigan by Daryl K, in blue and cream for $179.
The cardigans are 30% mohair, 40% polyamide, and 30% acrylic. Combining functionality with comfort, they really are the perfect fit for a walk along the beaches of Ireland.
Like statement fashion of decades past, the Aran sweater is a classic that will never go out of fashion, instead of being repurposed, reclaimed, and reimagined for a generation looking for callbacks to home.
Update an old favorite with a new take on the classic Aran sweater
See our full range of Merino Wool Aran Sweaters here and experience the beautiful, soft comfort of Ireland’s most famous garment for yourself.