The Duchess of Cambridge loves the store’s houndstooth dress so much that she’s worn it on two recent public engagements. Claudia Winkleman shone on Strictly in this season’s sequined mini dress a few weeks ago and Holly Willoughby wears so many of their bodycon skirts on This Morning it’s hard to keep track.
The store is Zara, the High Street brand that has grown into the world’s largest clothing retailer thanks to the retail giant’s skill in producing stylish and affordable fashion. Remember the £ 40 black and white polka dot dress that became a worldwide sale in 2019, inspiring her own Instagram account?
Now there is a new woman at the helm and while you might not have heard from her until now, you just might have some of the pieces she has championed in your wardrobe.
Like many successful retail executives, Marta Ortega Perez started in the store 14 years ago at the King’s Road branch in Zara. At the time, with her impeccable English, but with a Spanish accent, there was little to distinguish her among the cosmopolitan lineup of employees taking their first steps on the ladder.
Marta Ortega Perez, 37 (pictured) will replace Pablo Isla as president of Inditex in April, in the post her shy father left in 2011
Except for one thing: As this young lady ran stock checks and folded clothes, her colleagues couldn’t help but notice the rather expensive Rolex watch.
To be fair, the saleswoman in question probably could have spent a Rolex on each employee if she wanted to, as Marta, then 23, was the youngest daughter of Amancio Ortega, owner of the Zara Empire and 11th over. rich in the world. person, with a fortune currently estimated at around £ 58 billion.
Marta is now 37, extremely chic, impeccably connected and, in all respects, hardworking. Still, unless you’re a reader of Spanish gossip columns, there’s a good chance you’ve never heard of the woman who is now one of fashion’s most influential people. Last week Marta, who has two older siblings, was named successor to the throne of Inditex (the company that owns Zara, Massimo Dutti, Uterque and other retail brands).
The twice-married mother-of-two will replace Pablo Isla as president in April, in the post her shy father left vacant in 2011.
Amancio, now 85 years old but still heavily involved in the company despite his technical retirement, is the archetype of the self-made man, the son of a railway worker who left school at 13.
It was with his first wife Rosalia Mera, who died suddenly in 2013, that Amancio started his clothing business in 1975, and the couple had two children, a daughter Sandra, 53, and a son Marcos, born with severe brain disorders. paralysis.
Marta’s mother is Flora Perez, a young and attractive staff member with whom Amancio had an affair (and later married, in 2001, after divorcing Rosalia in 1986).
Marta (pictured), who is a Hola! Favorite, is an avid horse riding enthusiast and a regular at fashion shows.
Marta arrived first, however, in 1984, quickly becoming the apple of her father’s eye. She received a privileged education (her father acquired a horse farm, largely to serve his passion for horses) and studied at a private Catholic school in Spain, then at an international school in Switzerland before joining the European Business School in London.
Glamorous – she has previously reportedly posed half-naked on a beach in Barbados for Italian fashion photographer Mario Sorrenti – her friends include Queen Letizia and Athina Onassis (granddaughter of the Greek shipping mogul).
She is still passionate about horseback riding and a regular at fashion shows. No wonder she’s one of Hola’s favorites !, the Spanish equivalent of celebrity magazine Hello!
But make no mistake, she is cut from the same fabric as the man on whose dreadful tracks she walks. Marta quietly learned about the family business with stays in London, Barcelona and Shanghai, as well as in Arteixo, the small town near La Coruña, Spain, where Inditex is headquartered.
His father may be The Boss, but his first job was behind the checkouts at London’s King’s Road store.
Like her father – the man they call The Boss – Marta prefers to settle in the shared open plan space of the company’s offices. Every morning, after dropping off her eight-year-old son at school, she joins the executives to review current “bestsellers”.
Despite the estate, the 100-foot yacht named Drizzle, and the private jet, Amancio is said to be a relatively modest man. Likewise, if Marta owns many couture pieces, not to mention Hermès handbags, Céline shoes and Marie Lichtenberg diamonds, she favors clothes from the family brand on a daily basis – clothes that she always pays for with her own bag. .
Amancio, who has a large property portfolio in London, is famous for his aversion to the limelight. It was not until 2001 that he reluctantly allowed the publication of his photograph for the first time.
Her daughter, on the other hand, is clearly not shy in front of the camera, but her social media profiles are strictly private. She gave her first meaningful interview, to the Wall Street Journal, this year alone.
Marta (pictured) is said to visit Zara stores almost every week and reportedly bolster the retailer’s branding.
“You never know your future and I’m open to that. But to be honest, I would like to stay close to the product. I think that’s what my dad always did, ”she said.
She is said to be a practical gamer, visiting Zara stores almost every week and has been credited with strengthening the retailer’s branding, leading several campaigns and launches.
The clues to his work ethic lie in his past. A friend from school once said: “You cannot say that Marta was a student who obtained exceptional marks, but she showed a will and a spirit of work which was very much in the his parents’ style. “
In her interview with the Wall Street Journal, Marta, who also speaks French and Italian, admitted that her initiation into the company in London had been difficult. “The first week I thought I wasn’t going to survive,” she said. “But then you get a little addicted to the store. “
Since then, Marta – described as “humble” but with “strong opinions” – has worked in different departments, from finance to sales and even design.
She owns sewing but wears Zara to work – and buys it herself
She, like her father, has been married twice. In 2012, after dating several eligible men, she married her fellow jumper Sergio Alvarez Moya, in a private ceremony at her father’s property.
No expense was spared – the altar was designed by sculptor Sir Anish Kapoor with entertainment from The Pointer Sisters – and Charlotte Casiraghi, daughter of Princess Caroline of Monaco, was among the 200 guests.
While the groom wore a suit by Massimo Dutti, Zara’s sister brand, the bride’s dress was designed by Narciso Rodriguez. The couple had a son but separated in 2015 and she fell in with Carlos Torretta, a modeling agent and son of Roberto Torretta, the Argentinian designer.
On the contrary, their wedding in 2018 was even more glamorous than Marta’s first. Spanish newspapers have called the wedding “the wedding of the year”.
Marta wore no less than four couture creations, her blush dress from the creative director of Valentino Pierpaolo Piccioli, taken by the designer in person.
Fabien Baron, who is Freelance Creative Director at Zara, said Marta (pictured) “brings a layer of sophistication to Zara that Zara may not have had before”
This was followed by a tuxedo-inspired suit, a pink bow dress and – the piece de resistance – a sequined open back dress for the evening celebrations at the Royal Yacht Club in La Coruna.
The 400 guests enjoyed performances by Norah Jones, Jamie Cullum and Chris Martin of Coldplay. Everything was captured by the late legendary fashion photographer Peter Lindbergh.
Torretta now works in the public relations department of Inditex and the couple, who share a duplex in La Coruna, have a one-year-old daughter. Marta “brings a layer of sophistication to Zara that Zara may not have had before,” says Fabien Baron, independent creative director of the channel.
“His father started a business and [Marta] is building a community that will help take the business to the next level. ‘
Xabier Blanco, journalist and Amancio biographer, said of the move: “This succession has been in sight for a long time. Inditex is in very good hands as Marta knows the company inside out.
“The father prioritized things like the storefront and Marta is currently a storefront. She wears clothes one day and the next day they sell.
“His succession is another masterpiece from Amancio Ortega, a man who has always been able to do things at the right time.