MR magazine is saddened to report the passing of Mallas Osafo, a master tailor and luxury retailer who was much loved and widely respected in our industry. Born in Ghana to loving parents Benjamin Osafo and Charlotte Friar, Mallas studied the art of tailoring as a young man and took his passion to the U.S. working for Gerardo’s in Dallas, before founding his own sartorial venture, Mallasadi, with his partner Sadi.
Luciano Moresco was a long-time friend and business colleague. “Mallas was a very special person: the moment he entered a room, his presence was felt, since he comported himself with what in Latin we would call ‘gravitas.’ That’s why, in the frenzy of a show or busy showroom, his presence was always reassuring, even calming, a rare word in our business. It was part of his own personal style, like speaking softly and forcing people to pay attention…
ABOVE Photo: Mallas in his store.
“But behind this quasi philosophical, almost theatrical approach, there was the expert hand and the critical eye of a master tailor with an exceptional sense of style. He and his partner Sadi were the first to bring to Dallas luxury brands like Brioni, Stefano Ricci, Italo Ferretti, first at Gerardo’s where they were employed, then in 1995 in their own store, Mallasadi.
“Since that time, one or more of my products was always present in their store, and the business relationship evolved to friendship and affection, so much so that, even in his retirement, I never failed to visit with Mallas if transiting what he called the ‘village’ of Dallas.”
Recalls luxury menswear maven Joe Barrato, “I remember Mallas for his passion and sincerity. He was a great retailer and Master Tailor. He especially enjoyed selling and tailoring Brioni. He had a great rapport with his clients who respected not just his taste level but also his integrity.”
Reflects menswear designer Edward Armah, “I was introduced to Mallas back at a Pitti Uomo show but was always a bit intimidated to visit his ultra-upscale store in Dallas. But when I learned we had a mutual friend in Ghana, I made sure to visit the next time I was in Dallas. What an amazing and generous man! He was so gracious, giving me keys to his house, to his car; inviting me and many of his vendors and friends to fabulous football-watching parties at his home.
“What I learned from Mallas was many important life lessons: Work hard and save money early on. Live life fully and enjoy it! Treat people well, even if they’re not likely to remember what you did for them…
“Clearly, our industry has lost a dear and truly talented menswear icon. My condolences to his wife Felicia and to all his family.”
Mallas is survived by his wife Felicia, his son Nana, daughter Nakia and son Jamani.