Rosalia Mera, co-founder of Zara, passed away

Rosalia Mera, co-founder of Zara, passed away

Rosalia Mera, the co-founder of Spanish fashion chain Zara and former wife of Inditex-founder Amancio Ortega, has passed away at age 69. She died from a stroke.

At the start of a fashion empire

Mera was married to Amancio Ortega for years and together they opened the first Zara together in 1975, in A Coruña. It would be the start of an empire that is still worth annual sales of 15.9 billion euro and which holds other brands such as Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home, Uterqüe. The clothes of the company now called Inditex are sold at 6,000 shops across 86 markets.

 

At the time of her death, Rosalia Mera held 7% of the shares of Inditex. Her former husband – who she divorced in 1986 – owns 59.3%. She quit the board of directors in 2004.

 

Richest ‘self-made’ woman in the world

Next to Inditex, Mera invested in a company involved in fish-farming, a company that is working on a cure for cancer using products found in the ocean and in the exclusive Bulgari Hotel in London. She used the money she made when Inditex went public in 2001.

 

She was also involved in charity via her Paideia Foundation. It focused on the integration of people with a physical or mental handicap. She was also powering a competition for young jazz musicians in Spain.  The capital of Mera was estimated at 4.6 billion euro. It made her the richest woman in Spain and according to Forbes the richest self-made woman in the world.

 

Started career in sewing studio

Mera had a modest origin: she was born in a working class family and started working in a sewing studio when she was eleven. Later she started making lingerie and robes for women in her living room, together with her husband.

 

Mera had a stroke on the island of Menorca, where she was on vacation with her daughter. She was transported to the mainland, but to no avail. She leaves a son Marcos and a daughter Sandra behind. Marta, the youngest child of her former husband Ortega, has a different mother.

 

Questions or comments? Please feel free to contact the editors


Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd collaborate for animal welfare

18/01/2018

Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd will join forces for a unique collaboration: they will launch their own animal welfare quality mark. “Fair & Gut” (Fair and Good) will launch in Germany for poultry products, but steadily expand.

Rewe uses chocolate pudding to see how little sugar is acceptable

18/01/2018

German supermarket chain Rewe has asked its customers how little sugar they can bear. It aims to lower its private label’s sugar levels, but the consumer will decide by how much.

Lidl dials down its American ambitions

18/01/2018

Lidl had hoped to have about a hundred stores in the United States by the summer, but will be forced to adjust its first-year goals. The German chain currently has 49 stores in the United States.

Carrefour looks back on difficult year

17/01/2018

Despite a fourth quarter improvement, French Carrefour has been through a very difficult year. Next week, CEO Alexandre Bompard is expected to set out new guidelines in order to give the retail giant's results a new push.

British supermarket chain Iceland gives plastic the boot

17/01/2018

British frozen food chain Iceland will be the first supermarket chain to cut all plastic packages from its private labels. By 2023, each of its 1,400 private label products will have more sustainable packaging, like cardboard and paper, alternatives to plastic.

AB InBev sells two German beers

17/01/2018

AB InBev has sold German beer brands Diebels and Hasseröder, alongside its breweries, to investment fund CKCF. The new owner wants to invest more in the two beer brands.

Back to top