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Rosalía Mera
Born Rosalía Mera Goyenechea
(1944-01-28)28 January 1944
A Coruña, Galicia, Spain.
Died 15 August 2013(2013-08-15) (aged 69)
A Coruña, Galicia, Spain.
Cause of death
Complications from a stroke
Residence Liáns, Oleiros, A Coruña, Galicia Spain
Nationality Spanish
Known for Co-founder of Inditex
Net worth $6.1 billion as of 2013[1]
Spouse(s) Amancio Ortega Gaona (m. 1966 — div. 1986)[2]
Children Sandra Ortega Mera, Marcos Ortega Mera
Official website

Rosalía Mera Goyenechea (28 January 1944 – 15 August 2013) was a Spanish businesswoman and entrepreneur. At the time of her death she was the richest woman in Spain[2] and the world's richest self-made woman.[3] In 1975, she co-founded the Zara retail chain with her then-husband Amancio Ortega Gaona. The company grew to become the world's largest fashion retailer.[4]

Early life and education[edit]

Rosalia Mera was born in A Coruña, Galiza, Spain in 1944.[4] She dropped out of school at age eleven to work as a sales assistant in a clothing shop.[2][5]


Mera began designing gowns and lingerie in her home with her then-husband, Amancio Ortega Gaona. The couple opened the first Zara store in 1975 in A Coruña.[5] Eventually the couple parlayed their work into a multi-billion dollar enterprise. Zara's success was in part due to its strategy of imitating popular fashions and quickly making them for sale at inexpensive prices.[4]

Ten years after the opeining of the first Zara store, Inditex was established as a holding company for the couple's businesses.[5] Inditex now comprises multiple fashion companies, of which Zara is the flagship.[2] The company also owns the retailers Bershka, Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Pull & Bear, Stradivarius, Uterque and Zara Home.[6] Inditex now has over 6000 stores in over 86 countries[4] and over 120,000 employees.[6] Despite her 1986 divorce from Ortega,[2] Mera retained a 7% stake in the company.[7]

Mera also owned interests in a company which made fingerprinting identification kits for newborns[1] and another company, Zeltia, which carries out research into cancer fighting compounds of both synthetic and natural origin and particularly those bioactive compounds originating in the ocean.[1][8]

According to the 2013 Forbes billionaire list, Mera was the world's wealthiest self-made female entrepreneur, with a net worth of over $6 billion. She was the second-wealthiest person from Spain,[1] second only to her ex-husband.

Political and philanthropic activities[edit]

Mera opposed conservative Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's plans to make Spain's abortion laws more restrictive.[6] She also opposed austerity cutbacks to Spain's national healthcare and education programes.[6]

Mera established the Paideia Foundation which works with groups in risk of social exclusion.[1][9]

Personal life[edit]

Mera married Amancio Ortega Gaona in 1966.[5] She had a son, Marcos, who was born mentally disabled.[1] The couple also had a daughter, Sandra.[5]


On 14 August 2013, Mera was admitted to a hospital in Menorca in an ‘irreversible situation’ after suffering a stroke. The family had been on holiday in Menorca. Mera died on 15 August 2013 in A Coruña. She had been transferred by plane to the port city and then by ambulance to the Hospital San Rafael de A Coruña where she later died of complications.[10][11] Inditex confirmed Mera's death on 16 August 2013,[12] stating "The group wishes to send its sincere condolences to her loved ones and friends at this extremely difficult time, after the loss of a person who contributed so much to the origins and development of the company."[2] She was buried in the cemetery of the church of Santa Eulalia of Liáns, in Oleiros(A Coruña).[13]


  1. ^ a b c d e f Kroll, Luisa. "The Rarer Sex: The Self-Made Women Billionaires Of 2013". Forbes. Retrieved 10 March 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f "Zara co-founder Rosalia Mera dies aged 69". BBC News. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  3. ^ Carlyle, Erin (16 August 2013). "Rosalia Mera, World's Richest Self-Made Woman, Dies At 69". Forbes. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d Dennys, Harriet (16 August 2013). "Rosalia Mera". Daily Telegraph (London). 
  5. ^ a b c d e Baigorri, Manuel (16 August 2013). "Rosalia Mera, Who Was Spain’s Richest Woman, Dies at 69". Bloomberg. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  6. ^ a b c d "Rosalia Mera, World's Wealthiest Self-Made Woman, Dies At 69". Huffington Post. 16 August 2013. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Hetz, Robert (15 August 2013). "UPDATE 1-Co-founder of Zara-owner Inditex dies in hospital-report". Reuters. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Zeltia website
  9. ^ EC accreditation for the foundation
  10. ^ Rosalía Mera, has been admitted to hospital in Menorca in an ‘irreversible situation’ after suffering a stroke (15 August 2013). Retrieved 16 August 2013
  11. ^ Muere Rosalía Mera, cofundadora de Inditex (16 August 2013). Retrieved 16 August 2013. (Spanish)
  12. ^ Conti, Samantha (16 August 2013). "Rosalia Mera, Cofounder of Inditex, Dies". WWD. Retrieved 16 August 2013. 
  13. ^ Rosalía Mera será enterrada este sábado en A Coruña.

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosalía_Mera — Please support Wikipedia.
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83 news items

Funds People
Tue, 15 Apr 2014 22:03:45 -0700

En las actúa como consejera; no obstante, esta información estaría desactualizada, ya que sigue apareciendo como presidenta Rosalía Mera. De esta manera, JP Morgan Gestión rebaja el número de sicav gestionadas a 15, aunque el total ascendería a 16 ...
Management Today
Fri, 28 Mar 2014 00:32:44 -0700

Or look at Amancio Ortega and Rosalia Mera, the Spanish duo behind Inditex (owner of Zara). They started by making dressing gowns in their living room in the 1970s but as their business grew, their marriage came under strain, with Ortega allegedly ...

Economía Digital

Economía Digital
Wed, 16 Apr 2014 17:00:00 -0700

El primer movimiento patrimonial significativo de Sandra Ortega tras el fallecimiento de su madre, Rosalía Mera, el pasado agosto, ha sido el de liquidar Quembre de Inversiones, su propia Sociedad de Inversión de Capital Variable (sicav). Lo que ya se ...

Chất Lượng Việt Nam VietQ

Chất Lượng Việt Nam VietQ
Fri, 18 Apr 2014 17:22:30 -0700

Ortega được thừa hưởng hơn 90% gia tài của bà Rosalia Mera, bao gồm toàn bộ công ty Rosp Corunna Participaciones Empresariales SL sau khi bà Mera qua đời hồi tháng 8/2013. Công việc chính của Sandra hiện tại là quản lý Rosp Corunna và quỹ từ ...
Fri, 11 Apr 2014 02:56:15 -0700

El grupo textil español Inditex abrirá la próxima semana sus primeras cinco tiendas en Albania, uno de los últimos países europeos sin presencia del conglomerado fundado por Amancio Ortega y Rosalía Mera. Tirana, 11 abr. - El grupo textil español ...


Mon, 07 Apr 2014 04:13:52 -0700

Estaba controlada con la fallecida Rosalía Mera (exesposa de Amancio Ortega). Tras su muerte, ha heredado esta fortuna la primogénita del fundador de Inditex, Sandra Ortega. El patrimonio de Soandres aumentó un 6 % el año pasado y obtuvo unos ...


Wed, 09 Apr 2014 03:02:43 -0700

En 1975 Amancio Ortega fundó Zara junto a Rosalía Mera, su por entonces mujer, fallecida en 2013. Tres años de diferencia entre Zapa y Zara. Mientras una se ha quedado en unas pequeñas tiendas repartidas por Francia y Bélgica, la otra ha cambiado el ...


Thu, 27 Mar 2014 02:04:44 -0700

Rosalia Mera was the richest woman in Spain with an estimated worth of $6.1bn, although her fortune represented a fraction of the wealth accumulated by her former husband and Zara co-founder ...

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