When we think of how Zara got its name, we always imagined it happened something like this. Some very fashionable European man was just sitting in a glamorous rooftop bar at a party. He wanted to open up a new, uber-chic clothing store and all of a sudden the name “Zara” just effortlessly popped into his head and that was that. Turns out, that is very far from the truth. The store was actually named something quite different previously, and how it ended up as Z-A-R-A was kind of a fluke.
According to Marie Claire, owner Amancio Ortega first named the company Zorba.
Yes, Zorba! He named it after a book and film called Zorba the Greek. Here’s the plot, via Good Reads so you can get some insight into his vision for the brand:
“The classic novel Zorba the Greek is the story of two men, their incredible friendship, and the importance of living life to the fullest. Zorba, a Greek working man, is a larger-than-life character, energetic and unpredictable. He accompanies the unnamed narrator to Crete to work in the narrator’s lignite mine, and the pair develops a singular relationship. The two men couldn’t be further apart: The narrator is cerebral, modest, and reserved; Zorba is unfettered, spirited, and beyond the reins of civility. Over the course of their journey, he becomes the narrator’s greatest friend and inspiration and helps him to appreciate the joy of living.”
Wow. Okay. Didn’t see that coming.
So, Ortega opens up his shop in 1975 in beautiful A Coruña, Spain, and everything’s going okay for a little while. That is, until he realized shortly after that there was a bar only a few blocks away that also went by the name “Zorba.” We’ve never even heard of this book until today, so this seems like quite a coincidence.
Now stuck with the task of changing the name, Ortega goes down to his storage shed and grabs another “a,” and takes out the “o” and the “r” and voila. Zara!
As Marie Claire states, “Now ‘Zara’ doesn’t actually mean anything, but we can all agree it’s very catchy.” We 100 percent agree.
I suppose we don’t really care how the store got its name because we’d be obsessed with their clothes either way. Are we the only ones who have built our entire adult wardrobe around their pieces? Love!