Ever wondered how popular fashion store Zara got its name? Considering it is a Spanish label, not many would believe there is a Greek connection, but Zara was in fact originally named Zorba, as the brand’s founder was a huge fan of the film ‘Zorba the Greek’ but it had to be changed.
In an article published by the New York Times a few years back, Zara’s communications director, Jesus Echevarría explained that in 1975, Amancio Ortega Gaona, the brand’s original founder, decided to open up a small store in La Coruña, Spain and since he was a huge fan of the critically acclaimed 1974 film Zorba the Greek, he decided to name his creation after the movie.
The store was initially named Zorba, however, the name had already been used in the area, as two blocks down the owner of a bar ‘Zorba’ complained it would be too confusing to have two Zorbas in the same town, one selling beers and the other clothes.
Gaona had already made the molds for the letters in his sign, so the businessman decided to work with what he had. By rearranging some of the letters, he came up with the new name Zara.
Today, Zara is one of the world’s largest fashion retailers, with eight brands- Zara, Pull&Bear, Massimo Dutti, Bershka, Stradivarius, Oysho, Zara Home and Uterqüe, they sell in 202 markets through online platforms and 7,000 stores in 96 countries.
“I don’t think they were thinking of making history, just that it was a nice name, but apparently there was a bar that was called the same, Zorba, like two blocks away, and the owner of the bar came and said, ‘This is going to confuse things to have two Zorbas.’ They had already made the molds for the letters in the sign, so they just rearranged them to see what they could find. They found Zara,” Echevarría told the NY Times.
And as they say, the rest is history!