Derrill Osborn did more than just search out the latest and greatest luxury men’s wear pieces when he traveled the world as the men’s fashion director of Neiman Marcus. He also amassed a large collection of bovine memorabilia. On Oct. 14, Osborn, who retired from Neiman’s in 2002 after a 40-year career in fashion, will sell the collection at an auction at the Dallas Auction Gallery.
“I decided that I would like to see my stuff go before my very eyes rather than after the fact,” Osborn said. “So I decided to seek homes for these divine pieces.”
This story first appeared in the August 18, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The auction will contain 300 lots including Staffordshire, Majolica, flow blue and Black Forest carvings as well as 19th- and 20th-century bovine oil paintings. In addition to the cow-themed pieces, the auction will include fashion-related gems such as a pair of Empire-styled armchairs featuring an Atelier Versace Medusa print on balloon seat cushions — the cloth was a personal gift from Gianni Versace.
Osborn, who was known for his eccentric personal wardrobe (including flowing capes, bowler hats and carnations in his lapel) acquired his love of all things cowlike early on — he was raised on a ranch in Mexico. “And I’ve always enjoyed watching cows. They are so content. I always wished I could be as content as a cow.”
Calling auctions the new “fashion event,” he said he is planning a preview party the night before the sale. “It will be different than most auction previews,” he said. “It will be a fashionable party.”