You'll Never Believe How Zara Got Its Name

Kat Collings

If you take a peek around the Who What Wear office, chances are you’ll spot at least a few editors wearing something from Zara. We’re big fans of the giant retailer, which is why we were delighted to unearth a 2012 New York Times article about how the brand got its name. Gather 'round, fast-fashion fans, and settle in for a quaint story: In 1975, the brand’s founder, Amancio Ortega Gaona, opened a small store selling his housecoats and robes in northwestern Spain. Ortega called the store Zorba, after the film Zorba the Greek. If things had gone as planned, you would now likely be familiar with a brand called Zorba, but, alas, a fly appeared in the ointment! Apparently Zorba the Greek was quite the popular film, as two blocks away there was a bar with the same name. The owner of the bar came over to Ortega’s clothes shop, and declared that it would be too confusing to have two Zorbas in the same town. Unfortunately, Ortega had already made the molds for the letters in the sign, so what did the resourceful future billionaire do? He simply rearranged them to see what other names he could find. As you can likely guess, he came up with Zara, and the rest is sartorial history!

Now that you know this charming bit of Zara history, scroll down to shop our current favorites from the brand!

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