His father was a railway worker under a fascist dictatorship in Spain, but Amancio Ortega will pass a personal fortune of over $79.5 billion to his daughter.
Amancio Ortega is the Spanish magnate who created Zara, and in doing so, he made himself the richest man on the planet.
Forbes reports Ortega became the world's richest man on Wednesday when Inditex shares went up 2.5 percent, surpassing US Giants investor Warren Buffett, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and former richest man, Bill Gates -- placing him at the top of the global list.
Ortega, who left school to work as a shop hand for a local shirtmaker, opened the first Zara store with his then-wife Rosalía in 1975 in downtown La Coruña, Galicia, in Spain. The shop business model was one that offered low-priced lookalike products of popular, higher-end clothing fashions.
This model made him into the wealthiest man on the planet and is still the one which Zara operates on today -- to the great annoyance of high-end designers.
Combined with Zara's limiting advertising, aggressive expansion, lightening-speed turnover and through controlling much of his own supply chain, Ortega created from nothing one of the biggest companies in existence.
Louis Vuitton fashion director Daniel Piette described Zara's parent company Inditex as "the most innovative and devastating retailer in the world."
Ortega's business model has been dubbed "fast fashion" and is governed by two key principles: giving customers what they want and as quickly as possible (which is why we love it so much).
But despite his enormous wealth and incredible success, he remains an extremely private and grounded individual. He never gives interviews and is rarely photographed, except when traveling to watch his daughter show jump around the world.
Ortega also reportedly visits the same coffee shop every day in his hometown of La Coruña and eats lunch with his employees in the company cafeteria, instead of disappearing into an office. Keeping it real.
Citations: Daily Mail