Zara Founder Is Second-Richest Man In The World, Started Making Clothes In His Living Room

Fashion isn't always taken seriously, but as Bloomberg reports, there have been some major changes in the "three comma club" lately, and it has everything to do with crop tops and fringe. The owner of Zara is now the second richest man in the world, and his new spot on this list is a pretty big deal.

Spanish fast fashion magnate Amancio Ortega, who owns Zara, Massimo Dutti, and Pull&Bear, among others, and is worth a cool $71.5 billion, has just become the second richest man in the world, a few billion shy of Microsoft Corp. founder Bill Gates. Warren Buffett, whose philanthropic giving has cost him an estimated $30 billion, is now left with a measly $70.2 billion, and will have to make do with the bronze medal as only the world's third richest man.

With a quick expansion across the U.S. and the addition of e-commerce in 2011, Zara all but democratized the industry, offering up on-trend items that resemble designer duds (sometimes very closely). Rapid restocking and twice-weekly injections of new styles store-wide ensure frequent visits by fans of the brand, and relatively tame price tags don't hurt, either.

Ortega founded Zara in his living room, churning out lingerie and bathrobes with his late former wife, Rosalía Mera. (If you're looking for a sign to launch that Etsy shop you've been talking about, this is it.) Within a decade, the brand was ubiquitous in Spain. By the aughts, Zara was well-known and much-loved the world over, if not still hard-to-find stateside — we all know/were (guilty) that one guy or girl who came back from a semester abroad with a brand new and très chic wardrobe, despite the exchange rate.


The moral of the story? It pays to sell cheap clothes, bags, and accessories. A quick glance at the Ortega's portfolio compared to Buffett's investments, which includes everything from real estate (Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices) to ketchup (H.J. Heinz) proves that frugal fashionistas have serious buying power.

Images: Getty, Giphy