The fast fashion retailer Zara boasts over 2000 stores across 96 countries. [Credit: Ajay Suresh // Wikimedia Commons]
The fast fashion retailer Zara boasts over 2000 stores across 96 countries. [Credit: Ajay Suresh // Wikimedia Commons]

A celebrity daughter of Spain is set to take the reins of the world’s largest fashion company.

Marta Ortega Pérez, 37, has been tapped as the new executive chair of Inditex — the parent company behind multi-billion dollar retailer Zara — by her billionaire father and founder of the company, Amancio Ortega, the company announced Tuesday.

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She will assume the role in April and bring the company back under family control after a decade of outsider executives, according to Forbes. Inditex also owns seven other Spanish clothing brands, including Bershka, Pull&Bear and Massimo Dutti. 

“I have always said that I would dedicate my life to building upon my parents’ legacy,”  said Ortega Pérez, a mother of two. “I’m deeply honored by the trust that has been placed in me.”

She is the youngest of her three siblings, but the first to gain a leadership role. (Neither of her siblings is actively involved in the business).

Ortega Pérez started working for the family business as soon as she graduated from the European Business School in London. In the past 15 years, Ortega Pérez has worked as a sales associate at Zara, overseen women’s merchandise and helped with the brand’s marketing. 

“I have lived and breathed this company since my childhood,” said Ortega Pérez, who was always dressed in the retailer’s clothing since the time she was a child to today, when her social circle consists of high-fashion giants like Valentino designer Pier Paolo Piccioli. 

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When asked about a formal leadership role during an interview in August, Ortega Pérez remained coy: “You never know your future, and I’m open to it. But to be honest, I would like to stay close to the product,” she told the Wall Street Journal. “I think that’s what my father always did.” 

Her predecessor, Pablo Isla, predicted that Ortega Pérez’s role would become more important as Inditex increases its sustainability efforts over the next decade.

According to a report by the company, Inditex aims to meet net zero emissions by 2040 and to use sustainable only cotton by 2023. 

It’s unclear whether a younger perspective will lead to more environmentally friendly efforts for a global company known for its fast fashion, but Ortega Pérez says she believes in quality, affordable clothes for everyone.

“It’s important to build bridges between high fashion and high street,” she told the Journal in August. “Not only a few people should be able to have access to high quality. We want all our customers to be able to [have that].”

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