Derrill Osborn, previous Neiman Marcus fashion executive, gatherer and Dallas style symbol, passes on at 76

In fact, regularly accumulated so many decorative objects, he rented booths at White Elephant Antiques in to liquidate the overflow and make room for new finds. White Elephant is where about 16 years ago he met his friend, Hinkle, who worked there as an associate at the time. “He pulls up in this red-and-green Volkswagen convertible filled with antiques because he was renting a space,” recalls Hinkle, who was then 21. “I didn’t know what to make of him. I believe he was dressed in some sort of red and green also, and he asked me, ‘Can you tell my theme is red and green?'” 

Osborn once explained his fascination with those colors, which are complementary opposites on the color wheel, to The News this way: “Queen Victoria said that red and green require much in between. They are very pleasing colors to me, it makes you think about Christmas, and did you know that these colors are used throughout the world, such as in the Forbidden City in Beijing?”

Hinkle, now 37, and Osborn became close friends over the years as Hinkle helped him with his booth. “He’s my mentor, my best friend. I consider him family,” Hinkle says. In fact, Hinkle, who is married to Gretchen Bell, owner of the vintage store Dolly Python in Dallas, named their second son after Osborn’s middle name, Radcliff.  Hinkle says Osborn converted him from smoking pipes to smoking good cigars. “I’d go to his house and we would just sit and talk for hours. Actually, he talked and I just listened. He had the most wonderful stories.” 

Hinkle recalls that when they would go places together, Osborn’s magnificent appearance would draw attention. “I would notice everybody gawking at him and taking pictures, especially if we went into the country outside of Dallas. But he was always very interested in other people and would ask them questions, he was good about that. People got to know him and loved him. There’s a lot to learn from that.” 

Those sentiments are echoed by Osborn’s longtime friend, Donald McCollum, a Dallas-based retired dentist who attended Abilene High School and Abilene Christian University with Osborn. (Surprise, Osborn was a cheerleader.) “I remember we were at the flea market in Paris and I saw this couple staring at Derrill and I thought they were making fun of him. Then I heard the woman tell her friend, ‘Did you see that man? He is the neatest looking person I’ve ever seen.'” 

To wit, just three years ago, Osborn was one of the makers in the coffee table book Advanced Style: Older and Wiser by acclaimed New York and filmmaker Ari Seth Cohen. “Never will there be a man as stylish; as graceful; as charming; full of wit, wonder, and imagination; as Derrill Osborn,” Cohen told The News in an email. “He brought joy and magic to all who had the privilege of being in his splendid company.”

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