Free World - September 15, 2021

One of the things Marta Ortega Pérez learned from her father, reclusive Zara fou…


One of the things Marta Ortega Pérez learned from her father, reclusive Zara founder Amancio Ortega, is that leadership doesn’t necessarily mean following convention or adhering to a formula.⁠
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Like her father—who still comes to the office nearly every day at age 85—Ortega Pérez sits at a shared workspace among fellow employees at the multibillion-dollar international retail brand.⁠ Although the 37-year-old does not have an official title, she’s become an essential part of the branding and style setting that has made the company a standout among its competitors by being so nimble and responsive to shifts in consumer tastes. ⁠

⁠”I think it’s important to build bridges between high fashion and high street, between the past and the present, between technology and fashion, between art and functionality,” Ortega Pérez tells @wsjmag.⁠⁠
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Pablo Isla, chairman of Inditex, the conglomerate that owns Zara, says that he anticipates Ortega Pérez’s role to become more significant as the company increasingly focuses on sustainability over the next decade. ⁠“[Marta is] very humble. But at the same time, of course, she has strong opinions about many different things,” says Isla, who stepped into his position in 2011 when Ortega retired. ⁠
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Zara has a famously well-honed system for apparel manufacturing and its supply chain is set in motion by the company’s reaction to customers’ desires—part of a long-held strategy to keep inventory low and design timelines short.⁠
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The retailer sells more than 450 million items per year of womenswear alone, and new items arrive twice a week at Zara stores and online. A luxury-world counterpart, such as Giorgio Armani, which offers a similarly wide array of categories under the Armani Group umbrella, had a consolidated net revenue of $1.9 billion in 2020. Zara’s consolidated net revenue for the same year was $16.7 billion.⁠⁠
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Read more at the link in our bio.⁠⁠
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📷: Steven Meisel for @wsjmag



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