Zara Co-Founder Rosalia Mera Dies At 69

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Rosalia Mera, one of Zara's co-founders, died last night after suffering a stroke while on vacation in Minorca. The 69-year-old force was the richest woman in Spain with a fortune estimated at $6.1 billion. Without ties to royalty or any inherited wealth (she started out as a seamstress in La Coruña), Mera was the wealthiest self-made woman, according to Forbes, and an all-around badass at that; she was a vocal opponent to conservative plans to curtail Spanish abortion laws and supporter of national health care and education programs.

Lest you think that "fast fashion" is a newfangled concept, Mera and her then-husband Amancio Ortega started Zara in 1975 as a store that offered lower priced versions of designer clothing (sound familiar?). The store was originally called "Zorba," but after noticing that there was already a bar a few blocks away from the first store in La Coruña, Spain, they rearranged the letters to spell "Zara." After expanding throughout Spain, then Europe, and then the world, Zara is now the largest clothing retailer in the world, beating out H&M, Forever 21, and Mango. (Yahoo)
rosalia-meraPhoto: Via Forbes.