Zara empire from Amancio Ortega
Amancio Ortega Gaona was born on the 12th of March 1936 in Busdongo de Arbás, Leon in Spain, where he also spent his childhood growing up as the youngest of four siblings.
Forbes has named Ortega the wealthiest person in Europe and until March of this year, he was the second wealthiest person in the world with an estimated net worth of $71.3 billion.
Ortega is Spain’s biggest business tycoon, he is famous for founding and chairing Inditex fashion group who created the famous clothing-house, Zara. Zara began in 1975 and it now has outlets all over the world and is the world’s largest clothing retailer. But Zara is not the only famous brand Ortega’s Inditex fashion group owns, their other labels include: Massimo Dutti, Pull and Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home, and Uterqüe.
Ortega started from humble beginnings and even though he is one of the world’s wealthiest people, there is still not a lot known about him. Ortega has always preferred to keep to himself and has lived a simple lifestyle. There were no published photographs of him in the media until 1999, he didn’t make his first public appearance until 2000 and still, to this day, he has only ever granted three interviews to journalists.
Ortega has always remained a humble and quiet man preferring to always wear non-designer clothing, eat lunch in the cafeteria with his employees, and even work from a shared table with his designers and fabric experts, rather than his own separate office.
Ortega left school at 14 and got his first job working for a local shirtmaker called Gala where he learned the art of making clothes by hand. Gala is still open and operating in Spain today. Ortega opened his first business with his wife Rosalia Mera, called Confecciones Goa, in 1972, which sold quilted bathrobes. He then went on to successfully start Zara in 1975 only a few years later.
Ortega has not looked back until 2011 when he finally announced his retirement as founder and chairman of Inditex. He now spends his days relaxing on his Spanish estate with his family raising chickens.
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