Rosalia Mera, the co-founder of fast fashion retailer Zara, has died from a stroke. She was 69.
According to Forbes, Mera was the world's wealthiest self-made woman, the 195th richest person on the planet and Spain's richest woman. A Spanish media outlet reports she was on vacation in Menorca when she suffered a brain hemorrhage on Wednesday. She passed away Thursday evening in a hospital.
Zara parent company Inditex released the following statement acknowledging her death:
The Inditex Group is deeply saddened to learn of the death of Rosalia Mera. 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.
Mera founded Zara in 1975 with her husband Armancio Ortega, also listed by Forbes as the fourth-richest person on the planet. The two originally planned to call Zara, "Zorba," after the Greek movie; Fortunately for the masses, a bar named Zorba was located a few blocks away, and so the name "Zara" was born. Though the couple eventually split, Mera went on to retain a stake in the company, leading to what the financial publication calls "the basis for her $6.1 billion net worth."
There are currently 1,763 Zara stores around the world, including one in Philadelphia on Walnut St. The popular retailer specializes in lower-priced renditions of popular, designer items.