17 Things You Did Not Know About High Street Brand Zara

You won’t believe what Zara was originally gonna be called…

#FashionFacts: 👗 👗 👗 👗 👗 👗 👗 👗 👗 9/10

You probably have an item or two (or twenty) from here in your closet right now.

Zara is undeniably becoming the shiniest star on the high street, with over 2000 stores in 88 countries. Spotted on anyone from your neighbour to your favourite blogger over to the red carpet and the South of France, the fast fashion brand is bringing trends and quality clothing to the market like no other.

From its owner becoming the world’s richest man, to Zara’s original brand name, scroll ahead for 17 facts you probably did not know about the ready-to-wear fashion house from Spain below.

1. Zara is actually a daughter company of Inditex, the world’s largest apparel retailer

Cr: via Inditex

The group also owns Massimo Dutti, Pull & Bear, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Uterqüe, and Zara Home.

2. Inditex was founded by Amancio Ortega, and for a short while, he surpassed Bill Gates as the world’s richest man

Cr: Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Images

On October 23rd last year, Ortega surpassed Gates, who has a net worth of $79 billion. However, by 10 am EST, he went back to his spot at number two.

3. In the beginning however, the bank actually loaned Ortega 30 Euros to launch his company

Cr: Inditex/OurStory

Ortega asked for a loan of 2000 pesetas (approximately 30 euros) to sell his first line of dressing gowns. The robe met customer’s needs but came at a lower price point, which later became the foundation of his later fashion businesses.

4. He also still likes to eat lunch at the Zara staff canteen

Cr: via Inditex

Even as the second richest man in the world, Ortega still enjoys lunch in the staff cafeteria. In general, Ortega likes to keep a low profile. He has never given an interview, and until 1999, there were no photos of him available.

5. Zara was supposed to be called Zorba

Cr: via Inditex

But unfortunately a bar in the city of A Coruña, Northwest Spain, also had the same name. So Zara opened as Zara in 1975. Rumour has it, Ortega took the name from Zadar, a Croatian harbour where he honeymooned with his wife.

6. Regardless of global enterprises, Spain is still Zara’s home

Cr: David Frutos via Inditex

50% of Zara’s products are still made in the country.

7. Zara’s warehouse is bigger than Amazon’s warehouse (!)

Cr: via Inditex

Zara’s warehouse is five million square feet big, which is approximately nine times the size of the Amazon warehouse.

8. They produce over 800,000 items of clothing in a year

Cr: Inditex/About

And yet even though the fashion powerhouse produces this much, some unique details are still applied by hand. In large part this is because small production is run with large volumes of designs.

9. Zara has extremely low wastage in comparison to most other fashion labels

Cr: via Inditex

Most fashion brands tend to throw away around 10-20% of their production at the end of every season. Zara, however, tends to discard around only 1%. Often this also goes towards a charitable cause.

10. And therefore stock is very limited

Cr: Zara Fall/Winter 2013/2014

Zara has over 2000 stores across the glove, yet runs fairly small production runs of 25,000 or so per design. This means that every store only gets a limited amount of products. Therefore if staff tells you an item isn’t available, chances are it really isn’t.

11. They test just about everything

Cr: via Inditex

Testing is a key aspect of Zara’s process. Quality control aside, everything from store layout to design is tested. Even what items are placed next to each other in store is tested by store managers, designers, and relevant departments.

12. Production is extremely efficient

Cr: Zara

Zara is vertically integrated, and even cuts the cloth itself. Raw materials are brought to the headquarters where they are patterned, and then sent to factories nearby for production. Items are then returned to the headquarters for handwork, quality control, RFID tagging, and packing.

13. And Zara pretty much invented fast fashion

Cr: via Inditex

Spotting trends and creating products in less than 15 days, Zara manages to get their items out from concept to shop floor within two to four weeks. For most brands in the fashion industry, it takes around 40 weeks.

14. Inspiration lies everywhere

Cr: Zara

Due to the company’s fast nature, designers always need to be on top of trends. Therefore they travel with camera, pen, and paper to observe and record how people dress, and spot trends.

15. The team of designers also constantly changes designs

Cr: Zara

They actively take in customer feedback to change and adjust items.

16. Zara spends little on advertising

Cr: Inditex/Zara

Instead, it focuses on opening stores close to high-end brands. In fact, Zara invested $324 million to open a store at 666 Fifth Avenue in New York City. Rather than spending on traditional advertising methods, Zara relies on the fact that shoppers enter their stores more regularly than others to check out the new stock.

17. And the world’s largest Zara store just opened Madrid

Cr: via Inditex

It’s located at Paseo de la Castellana, and is a whopping 65,000 square feet large.

Um… Guys, let’s go to shopping?

h/t: PopSugar/Augustman/Refinery29