Darla Dinkle, otherwise known as Darla Einstein, grew up in foster homes and never knew a sense of family until she began working at Spectra Fashions as an assistant to Sally Spectra, who took Darla under her wing. Darla found a family of sorts in Sally, her daughter Macy Alexander, Macy's on-again-off-again husband, Thorne Forrester, and Saul Feinstein, Spectra's tailor. Though Darla often came off as an airhead blonde, she was actually very smart, loyal, and had a good heart, becoming a trusted confidant to Sally, as well as a participant in many of Sally's schemes, particularly against rival fashion house Forrester Creations.
Darla capitalized on her ditzy image by performing as Marilyn Monroe, singing Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend at Thorne and Macy's variety show fundraiser. Darla also came on to Sally's philandering husband, Clarke Garrison, to test his fidelity, although Darla unwittingly jeopardized Sally's pregnancy by leaving her purse on the floor for Sally to trip over. Later, Darla began dating wealthy publishing magnate Bill Spencer, Sr., and ultimately saved Spectra Fashions from going under by asking Bill to invest capital in the crippled company. Darla began working at Forrester under the guise of “Camille” and managed to steal three of their haute couture designs for knock-off queen Sally. Bill initially came on to “Camille”, disappointing Darla, but she was relieved when he didn't end up responding to “Camille's” more aggressive advances. Unfortunately, because Bill was frequently away on business, he and Darla eventually drifted apart.
When Sally was later set to marry Jack Hamilton, Darla helped throw a bachelorette party for her, which included an appearance by romance novel cover boy Fabio. Darla was also part of an intervention that became necessary when Macy developed a serious drinking problem. After Bill's daughter, Karen Spencer, tricked lawyer Connor Davis into a wedding by pretending she was pregnant (he had failed to use protection, and Karen wanted to teach him a lesson), Connor briefly dated Darla while he and Karen were deciding whether or not to continue their relationship.
As Spectra Fashions again faced bankruptcy, Clarke, who had been away for several years, came back to save the company as a way of making up for how badly he had treated Sally. But Darla, who harbored a long-time crush on Clarke, again became second choice when Clarke dated Darla only after another of his failed relationships. With Spectra back on track, the fashion underdogs followed the successful Forresters to Lake Como, Italy, for a showing, travelling on a comically hellacious plane ride that resulted from Darla buying the cheapest seats she could find.
With Thorne free because Macy had married up-and-coming designer Grant Chambers, Thorne dated Darla, although Macy found herself jealous at first. Grant later confided to Darla that he was dying of testicular cancer, swearing her to secrecy; after Grant died, Darla found herself alone again because his dying wish was that Macy would reunite with Thorne. Darla continued to be there for her chosen family: she lent support to Sally's grown-up son, C.J., and helped Macy compete against the notoriously sultry Brooke Logan for Thorne's affections. Darla was crushed when Macy was killed in a car accident, and she comforted Sally as Thorne married Brooke, whom Sally blamed for Macy's death.
Forrester Creations planned another Italian fashion event, this time in Portofino, so the Spectra gang tagged along, although Darla's reservation skills again came into question after she accidentally booked everyone onto an old cargo jet filled with animals. Darla was shocked and overjoyed to find Macy alive in Portofino; her father, Adam Alexander, had rescued her from the car before it exploded and had her living under an assumed name to avoid detection by his mob connections. As “Lena,” Macy had moved on with Lorenzo Barelli, but Thorne informed Macy that they were still legally married.
Back in Los Angeles, Thorne misunderstood Macy and Lorenzo's goodbye embrace, got drunk, and turned to Darla. Thorne made love to Darla, thinking she was Macy; when Darla turned up pregnant, she wanted to get an abortion, but Thorne talked her out of it, suggesting that she let him and the now-infertile Macy raise the child instead. Darla would only agree if Macy were told the truth about her baby's conception; when Macy heard about Thorne and Darla's one-night stand, she turned her back on both of them, and Sally fired Darla for her betrayal. Completely alone, Darla opted to raise her baby by herself, surprised when Thorne arrived for her ultrasound and offered support throughout her pregnancy.
On the night Macy sang at a club opening, Darla met Macy backstage beforehand and apologized for hurting her best friend. Macy accepted Darla's apology, then was critically injured as criminals connected to the club's owner arranged for a chandelier to fall on her. Darla was devastated to hear that Sally had to pull the plug on the comatose Macy, and, when Darla finally gave birth, she named her newborn girl Alexandria to honor her departed friend. Thorne and Darla fell in love, and were married at the Forrester mansion with full support from Thorne's family.
Thorne became locked in a power struggle at Forrester Creations with his older brother, Ridge Forrester. Darla grabbed what she believed to be an envelope full of photos from Sally's birthday party and delivered it to Sally, not realizing she had accidentally taken the envelope that contained all of Forrester's top secret designs. As Darla was again working at Spectra, Ridge accused her of stealing the designs on purpose, and Thorne punched Ridge when he wouldn't stop disparaging Darla. When Thorne's father, Eric Forrester, was forced by Thorne and Ridge to choose between them, Eric opted to keep Ridge on staff because he had more experience. Darla calmed Thorne after he trashed his office, swearing his family would be sorry.
Darla stood by Thorne as he defected to Spectra Fashions and gave the upstart design house what it needed to properly compete against Forrester. But after a failed fashion competition in which Sally had invested all of the company's assets, Sally decided to close Spectra's doors and go on a world cruise. Darla discovered that Sally was really checking herself into an assisted living facility because of her need for a wheelchair, so Darla moved Sally in with her and Thorne instead.With the long-feuding Forrester and Spectra clans now united, Darla threw a birthday party for little Alexandria, making her daughter a video after all the guests had left. Darla received a call from Thorne's niece, teenager Phoebe Forrester, who had gotten a flat tire on a foggy road where a scary man was lurking. Though Phoebe had already called her mother, Taylor Hayes, to come get her, Taylor was nowhere to be found, so Darla rushed to Phoebe's rescue. Struggling to change Phoebe's tire, Darla lost her balance and fell into the path of Taylor's oncoming car. After suffering massive head trauma, Darla died in the hospital with Thorne at her side.
Years later, Darla's daughter, Alexandria, who now went by “Aly”, suffered from mental issues as a result of Darla's tragic death when she was a child. Aly began having visions of the departed Darla, believing her mother was instructing her to protect the Forresters from Quinn and Wyatt Fuller, a mother-and-son jewelry design team Aly saw as taking advantage of her family. Darla also “appeared” to the innocent Aly to counsel her through her budding relationship with Oliver Jones. With Oliver's help, Aly forgave Taylor for her part in Darla's death.