Amancio Ortega

Amancio Ortega Photo

Amancio Ortega is a fashion executive and the founder and chairman of the Inditex fashion group. According to Forbes he was the third wealthiest person in the world in 2013 with an estimate net worth of $57 billion. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index ranked him as the fourth richest person with assets worth $54.3 billion.

Ortega was born on 28th March 1936 in León, Spain. Son of a railway worker, Amancio Ortega belonged to a middle class family.  As a teenager he worked as a helper at Gala, a local shirt maker. By 1972 he had founded ‘Confecciones Goa’ which sold quilted bath robes sowed by the local women. Ortega is most popular for its chain of clothing and accessories Zara which he started with his first wife, Rosalia. He launched his first Zara Store in 1975, today Zara is a part of the Inditex group of which 59.29%  is owned by Ortega. He has more than 6000 stores which include the brands Massimo Dutti, Zara, Zara Home, Tempe, Kiddy’s Class, Stradivarius, Bershka and Pull and Bear. Ortega employs more than 92,000 employees. However he likes to maintain a low profile and no one had seen a picture of him till 1999. He does not carry himself like the big entrepreneur that he is instead he is mostly seen dressed very simply in a blue blazer, white shirt, gray pants and no tie. Surprisingly these are not even outfits from his brand Zara. He takes his coffee from the same place every day and eats with his employees in the company café.

He made an appearance in front of the camera in 2000 before his company went public in 2001 which made headlines in Spanish media. He has given only three interviews in his life which shows how strictly he guards his privacy. He has been subjects of books such as ‘Amancio Ortega: de cero a Zara’ which means ‘From Zero to Zara’. Amancio Ortega retired from Inditex in 2011 however, it is said that he will keep on playing an important part in the business. In his spare time he enjoys horseback riding. He owns the ‘Torre Picasso’ in Madrid which is the tallest building in Spain. The skyscraper is 515 feet tall and is worth $535 million. He is also the owner of ‘The Epic Residences & Hotel’ in Miami, Florida. These hotels are counted among the most luxurious hotels in the country. He drives an Audi A8 but also owns a $45 million private jet the ‘Global Express BD-700’ made by Bombardier. The notorious businessman loves to work so much that he rarely takes time off.

In 1986 he divorced his first wife and married Flore Perez Marcote in 2001. He has three children but it is rumored that his daughter from the second marriage will be his successor. Amancio Ortega has a luxury apartment in Miami along with real estate in Paris, Lisbon, London and Madrid. He has also invested in tourism, banks and gas companies.  The self-made mogul has a lot to be proud of.