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Full Version: Recluse behind Zara is now world's third richest man
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Quote:The "fast fashion" tycoon's estimated net worth of $57 billion is built on a formula of endless renewal, with dresses and blouses displayed in thousands of Zara stores worldwide for only a few days before they are taken off the rails and replaced with an even newer line of must-have garments.

Customers know they have to buy the clothes quickly if they want them because they will not be available for long. The now-global strategy also encourages shoppers to return frequently to see new ranges and trends.

In a country with sky-high unemployment and businesses going to the wall, Spain's richest man is a rare self-made mogul amid a corporate culture dominated by family dynasties.

Ortega overtook U.S. investor Warren Buffett and luxury group chief Bernard Arnault of France to become the third richest person on Forbes' 2013 annual ranking of billionaires on Monday. Ahead of Ortega are Mexican telecoms boss Carlos Slim at No.1, followed by Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

The aggressively managed Inditex has more than 6,000 stores in some 90 countries and includes such brands as Ortega's flagship Zara, Zara Home, Massimo Dutti and others. It is the world's biggest fashion retailer ahead of Gap and Hennes & Mauritz, making 840 million garments a year.

Inditex says it does not advertise, and with celebrities such as Kate Middleton - wife to Britain's Prince William - wearing Zara clothes, it may not have to.

Ortega's empire is a cash-rich business with a market capitalisation of 65 billion euros that is thriving amid the deep economic gloom that is engulfing its home country. The shares rose 67 percent last year, bucking a slump in consumer spending in Spain.

Ortega, a stocky 76-year-old who favours blue blazers, open-necked white shirts and casual trousers, took home 666 million euros in gross dividends thanks to his 59 percent stake in Inditex, which is worth 38 billion euros at current prices.



PRIVACY GUARDED

Yet surprisingly little is known about Ortega, despite the best efforts of Spain's intrusive celebrity press.

He has guarded his privacy so jealously that the company has only released one photograph of him, when the company listed in 2001. The nation's most successful entrepreneur routinely turns down interviews.

"To Amancio Ortega: he didn't open any doors, nor did he close any windows," wrote one biographer in a dedication.

According to the Spanish press, Ortega lives in a comfortable but not lavish apartment with his second wife, Flora.

His daughter Marta is widely expected to take over the fashion empire one day and has undergone training at Inditex, including working in a store, although the firm won't confirm she will be the successor.

Ortega became Spain's richest man when Inditex listed on the stock exchange but he did not attend the inaugural ringing of the bell at the bourse and never goes to shareholder meetings.

"Reclusive", "secretive" or "reserved" are the usual descriptions for Ortega, a man occasionally seen at equestrian competitions with his family, who manages to maintain his privacy partly thanks to living in the rainy city of A Coruna in northwest Spain, 300 miles (500 km) from the capital.

Biographers who say they have had access to him tell a rags-to-riches story: Ortega left school when he was 12 to work as a shirt-maker's delivery boy, to help support his poor family.

He learnt fast and began making gowns and lingerie in his living room along with his first wife, Rosalia Mera.

He realised customers wanted affordable versions of catwalk trends and opened his first Zara shop in A Coruna in 1975. Over the years, he has added more labels to the business, from teen brand Bershka to the more upmarket Massimo Dutti.

Experts credit Zara with transforming the business through "fast fashion". Affordable imitations of catwalk designs can move from drawing-board to stores within two weeks -- and poor sellers are pulled off the shop floor even quicker.
I like this guy.. they don't advertise, he doesn't flaunt is wealth and guards his privacy.

Intelligent and admirable.

amazing they only have ONE photograph of the world's 3rd richest man!
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women totally go ape for this store, they travel internationally just to shop there, its not expensive either, I dont know what it is, but they have it.
It def appeals to women more. Women need to change their attire all the time... And zara gives you a designer look for a low price. However i think uniqlo is actually more hip and original
I dont think zara is particularly orginal at all, but women love it, go far out of their way to go their, I know women who travel overseas just to go there, women who can buy from any designer they choose, celebrities etc fashion people shop there, it must be more than a mere marketing gimmic if fashion people buy from there, I believe there system is so current that they are producing the in style mere hours after its been shown by top designers of top labels, at fashion shows

No one can beat their ability to get current designer clothing out to the masses so quickly and efficently, its the now now generation thing happening, folk are'nt prepared to wait for anything anymore, if you don't have it they will go elsewhere
(03-05-2013 08:46 AM)superCalo Wrote: [ -> ]I dont think zara is particularly orginal at all, but women love it, go far out of their way to go their, I know women who travel overseas just to go there, women who can buy from any designer they choose, celebrities etc fashion people shop there, it must be more than a mere marketing gimmic if fashion people buy from there, I believe there system is so current that they are producing the in style mere hours after its been shown by top designers of top labels, at fashion shows

No one can beat their ability to get current designer clothing out to the masses so quickly and efficently, its the now now generation thing happening, folk are'nt prepared to wait for anything anymore, if you don't have it they will go elsewhere

Good post.

Yeah, it's odd that even celebrities and royalty like their stuff. it's really kinda low quality stuff. the stitching is quite poor but the designs are usually very current.
Sounds like an alpha.
Yes. a true alpha does not flaunt but is self contained. if the story is true, then he is admirable.

a self made man with billions of dollars with only 1 picture in the public sphere.
That's genius actually. Keeps the clothes on shelves for days only.
yes.. it's a smart strategy, but from an environmental /resource standpoint it's a very wasteful model.

why don't the eco whackos target the fashion industry?

who needs 30 pairs of shoes or pants?
^^Cuz then the eco whackos would have to justify owning 30 shemaghs even though they're from LA.
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hahaha.

it's just so weird.. they purport to care so much about the environment, the simplest thing to do is to tell people not to buy what they don't need.
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