Derrill Osborn, the beloved former Neiman Marcus men’s fashion executive, died at age 76 on Monday in his Oak Lawn townhouse.

Osborn was found in his bedroom and his cause of death remains undetermined, says friend and owner of Dallas’ Benny Jack Antiques, Benny Hinkle III.

In fact, Osborn wrote and paid for his own obituary and even brought it himself to the Dallas Morning News months ago.

His reputable role in fashion

Osborn stands outside White Elephant antique shop. Photo courtesy of Ari Seth Cohen, “Advanced Style.”

If you dabble in fashion, you already know what Osborn’s dapper style and reputable collection of art and antiques contributed to our city’s culture. Maybe you crossed paths with him once or twice in Dallas, Paris or New York. Maybe you saw his picture in The New York Times or GQ. Or perhaps you only heard about him through the grapevine. Regardless of how you knew him, his presence and presentation were unforgettable.

Despite retiring from Neiman Marcus in 2002, Osborn’s impact continued right up until his passing. Just three years ago, Advanced Style: Older and Wiser featured Osborn as a stylemaker, according to the Dallas Morning News. Author Ari Seth Cohen, renown photographer and filmmaker says in the book, “Never will there be a man as stylish; as graceful; as charming; full of wit, wonder, and imagination; as Derrill Osborn.”

Before that, his contributions to fashion go far and wide.

“He was a great merchant with great personal style and a lovely man to be around. Derrill always wore well,” says Robert Ackerman, retired Neiman Marcus general merchandise manager. “Derrill reported to me, but he was his own boss — well, he and the almighty, that’s who he listened to.”

His unforgettable bovine-themed art

But his influence extends beyond his stlye and acclaimed position at Neiman’s. The fasion icon also had a renown, extensive art and antiques collection in his Oak Lawn residence. As if Osborn couldn’t get any more interesting, he had an obsession for bovine-themed art. Christopher Wynn from the Dallas Morning News recalls a 2009 moment when Osborn decided to give 500 pieces from his collection to the Dallas Auction Gallery. So unique, the New York Times had to cover it.

Derrill Osborn’s Oak Lawn townhouse, photo by Terri Glanger.

Osborn was also an involved memeber of the community as a regular volunteer at Highland Park Presbyterian Church.

A memorial service to honor Derrill Osborn will be held at Highland Park Presbyterian Church (3821 University Blvd).


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