Wednesday 28 January 2015

Revealed: How high street store Zara got its name

Published 13/11/2012 | 11:14

Zara's owner Amancio Ortega was named third richest person in the world last week

Ever wondered who the Zara behind high street label Zara is?

If you, like us, imagine a sultry, stylish, Spanish senorita - all olive skin and tumbling hair like Penelope Cruz and a perfect pout like Ines Sastre - you may be surprised to learn that she's actually a big, hairy Greek man… sort of…

When Zara founder Amancio Ortega was searching for a name for his first fashion store in La Coruña back in 1975, he decided upon 'Zorba' after the 1964 film Zorba the Greek, Zara communications director, Jesus Echevarría, explains to the New York Times.

"I don't think they were thinking of making history, just that it was a nice name, but apparently there was a bar that was called the same, Zorba, like two blocks away, and the owner of the bar came and said, 'This is going to confuse things to have two Zorbas.' They had already made the molds for the letters in the sign, so they just rearranged them to see what they could find. They found Zara."

So there you have it. He may not be pretty, or Spanish, but he's got some great dance moves. And with Ortega, 76, last week named by Bloomberg Markets as the third richest person in the world with a net worth of $53.6 billion, he's not been a bad little earner either.

By Belinda White,

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