Amancio Ortega

Amancio Ortega Gaona is positioned as the #3 wealthiest individual in the world according to the 2013 first quarter report from Forbes. He is a fashion retailing tycoon as well as the founder of the Inditex fashion group. He is famous for his chain of fashionable accessories and clothing retail shops called Zara.  Inditex Fashion Group manages more than 100 companies that are related to fashion and operate throughout the world.

Quick Facts

Net Worth: US $61.6 Billion

Source: Zara and Inditex Fashion Group

Born: March 28, 1936 

Nationality: Spanish

amancio ortega

Net Worth

Amancio Ortega Gaona is best known for his ZARA retail stores which are scattered all over the world. He is the number one richest man in Spain, as reported by numerous magazines and papers. Further, his net worth amounts to US $57 billion. His wealth increased further and in September 2013, his combined net worth is now at US $61.6 billion according to the Index of Bloomberg Billionaires. His wealth comes from the sales in his retail stores but it largely comes from his holding company—the Inditex Fashion Group, where he is the acting founding chairman.  Presently, he owns 59.29% of the total shares of the Inditex Fashion Group which manages companies and brands like Zara, Bershka, Pull and Bear, Massimo Dutti and Oysho to name a few. 

Early Life 

Amancio Ortega Gaona is the youngest child with three other siblings and he was born in Leon, Spain. His family lived in one of the many humble rows of home in La Coruña, Spain. He worked throughout his teens and his first job was with a local shirt maker called Gala and Ortega was in really good terms with Jose Martinez, the present owner of Gala. 

He founded his first company in 1972 called Confecciones Goa and he sold quilted bathrobes made by the female members of a sewing cooperative he organized. It was in 1975 when he opened the very first Zara shop in Coruña, Spain which now also serves as the headquarters of his Inditex Fashion Group.

What made his fashion brand a worldwide name was his very forward attitude when it comes to the fashion market. In a time where fashion items took a great deal of time to be made, Amancio ensured that his fashion brand had the latest styles and designs brought to the fashion conscious market at a very fast paced compared to other fashion brands. The public, simply loved his creations and the ease of getting it which is a contributing factor to his worldwide success.

amancio ortega daughter

Ortega and daughter Marta

Personal Life

Amancio Ortega Gaona lives a very clandestine life. He shuns the media spotlight and is rarely interviewed as well as photographed. In fact, he leads a low key profile thus little is known about him. He has avoided the eyes of the paparazzi for many years and it was only in 1999 when his first photograph was published. And this first public appearance was only because of the company’s plans to go public in the stock exchange. 

His very discreet life has spawned books about his persona, making use of the adage from rags to riches. He still lives in La Coruña, Spain together with his second wife in an apartment building. He has three children to which little details are known. Since he has semi-retired from Inditex, he enjoys going on hiking getaways in Galicia and he also enjoys spending time in his country house with a small farm. It is where he raises goats and chickens.

amancio ortega wife

Ortega and second wife Flora Pérez Marcote

Interesting Facts about Amancio Ortega Gaona

  • He never received formal education in business or in fashion design.
  • He never had his own office and he prefers to be in the design room touching fabrics as well as reading memos.
  • He always wears simple clothes and dislikes wearing ties and suits.
  • He likes to eat at the company’s cafeteria together with his employees.
  • He is very versatile and employees can walk up to him and consult him without setting any appointments from his secretary—and as an FYI, he has no secretary at all. 
  • His designs are based on the principle of giving the customers what they want and getting their needs to them faster than anyone.

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