Meet Marta Ortega, Zara’s golden girl and the most powerful woman in fashion you’ve never heard of
Despite all of these pitfalls and her place at the front row at Valentino fashion shows, the 37-year-old generally avoids the fashion holiday circuit, favoring the equestrian crowd instead. Over the past 14 years, however, she has also held an integral – albeit undefined – role in her father’s business. In April, she will become the most powerful woman in fashion you’ve never heard of, when she takes on the role of President of Inditex.
It’s a familiar story: the founder of the company prepares his son or daughter, before handing over the reins to their empire. It’s also fascinating – the combination of family and business can be explosive, as we saw in the Stranger-Than-Fiction plot of new Ridley Scott House of Gucci movies and TV series such as Succession and Empire. .
In a rare interview with the Wall Street Journal in August, Marta claimed she had no plans to take on a more formal leadership role. You could almost imagine Shiv Roy of Succession casually saying the same thing to a reporter, despite his ambitions for the top job. But that’s where the similarities to the HBO hit end.
Although she never had an official job title, Marta was chosen from the start. The only child of Amancio and his current wife, Flora Pérez Marcote, she has two older siblings from her father’s first marriage to Rosalía Mera Goyenechea, with whom he founded Zara in 1975: Marcos, 50, born with cerebral palsy, and Sandra, 53, who became the richest woman in Spain when she inherited her mother’s 7% stake in Inditex in 2013 and devotes her time to Fundación Paideia Galizak, the charitable association Rosalía founded to support people with mental and physical disabilities.
Marta, meanwhile, literally rose through the ranks of the studio, having started her career as a saleswoman at Zara’s King’s Road store (the Duchess of Cambridge’s favorite branch) in 2007 after graduating from the European Business School in London. “The first week I thought I wasn’t going to survive,” she told the Wall Street Journal at the time. “But then you kind of get hooked on the store. “