April 8, 2020
Zara: How a Spaniard Invented Fast Fashion

Zara: How a Spaniard Invented Fast Fashion

The fashion industry might seem small and
unimportant, especially in today’s world when clothes couldn’t be cheaper and more
available. But make no mistake, there is money in fashion,
so much so that the second wealthiest man in the world made his fortune in this industry. That’s why the topic of this week’s video
is the world’s largest clothes retailer, Zara. Our story starts in Spain in 1950. In the northwestern part of the country lies
La Coruña, a small but beautiful coastal city. Amancio Ortega, who was barely fourteen years
old back then, had just gotten his first job as an errand boy, delivering fabrics for a
local clothing retail store. The young Ortega excelled at his work and
as he grew older he started dealing with the store’s customers and suppliers, eventually
becoming senior manager in 1960. When not at work Amancio would develop his
own designs out of his sister’s house. He practiced reproducing popular designs using
the less expensive materials left over from the retail store, while adding his own modifications
and improvements. Amancio would frequently design nightgowns
and lingerie, which he would then sell at the retail store. In 1963 he felt confident enough to leave
his managerial job and to start his own company. Working out of his own home, Amancio established
Confecciones Goa with a meager $25 of initial capital. He got his brother, sister and wife to work
alongside him, and before long Amancio was supplying retail stores across the city. When there were no more family members to
put to use, Amancio organized women across the province into sewing cooperatives. During the 1960s Amancio expanded to service
the whole of Spain, but even then he was still only a supplier to retail stores without a
brand of his own. He was hesitant to start his own brand due
to Spain’s political climate. Back then, Spain was still a dictatorship
under Francisco Franco, the Nationalist general who seized power after the Spanish Civil War. Among other things, the Franco regime had
very tight dress-code regulations. On top of that there were very few women participating
in the workforce, which meant that most of Amancio’s clients wouldn’t have a lot
of money to spend on clothes. Luckily for Amancio, Franco died in 1975 and
totalitarian Spain died along with him. The 1970s saw sweeping social and economic
reforms across Spain, which revitalized the nation. These years came to be known as the Spanish
miracle, and Amancio was eager to take advantage of it. He opened his first retail store in La Coruña
just a few months after Franco’s death. Amancio wanted to call his store Zorba, in
honor of his favorite movie, Zorba the Greek. He had already bought the letter molds for
the store when he discovered that just a few blocks down there was a big bar with the same
name. Whether out of laziness or thrift, Amancio
decided to reuse the letter molds he had already bought, and thus he called his retail store
Zara. The timing of Zara’s launch was perfect
and Amancio’s unique approach to fashion helped kickstart the brand’s popularity. You see, most clothing retailers even today
function on a seasonal model with huge production runs, and towards the end of each season they
heavily discount the clothes they didn’t manage to sell. Zara, however, could afford to develop new
designs all year round and would only produce them for a brief period, thus eliminating
the need for discount sales. Zara’s customers soon learned to buy their
clothes quickly before their favorite designs got sold out. These limited production runs also ensured
that clients knew their clothes would be relatively unique, compared to the mass-produced designs
of seasonal retailers. This also gave people an incentive to visit
the store frequently, since they knew they’d find new designs every time they visited. Because Amancio was in control of the entire
production process, from his sewing cooperatives to his storefront, he could market new designs
in as little as two weeks. Zara’s model, now known as ‘fast fashion’,
became a huge hit and redefined the fashion industry. Over the next decade Amancio expanded throughout
Spain and built a 10,000 square meter logistics center. In 1985 he got ready to expand internationally,
and so he created a holding company for his stores, called Industria de Diseño Textil,
or Inditex for short. To test the waters he opened Zara’s first
international store in nearby Portugal in 1988. That turned out well enough and so Amancio
ambitiously opened a store in New York in 1989 and in Paris in 1990. Over the course of the 1990s Zara opened over
550 new stores across the globe. Amancio was eager to expand Inditex’ collection
beyond Zara, and to that end he started Pull&Bear as a casual urban brand in 1991. During the same year Amancio purchased Massimo
Dutti, for high-end cosmopolitan clothes. By the turn of the new millennium, Amancio
had also created Bershka and bought Stradivarius. He was already 64 years old by that point
and was looking forward to retiring, so in 2001 he took Inditex public by selling 20%
of his shares, which made him the wealthiest man in Spain. By 2004 Inditex had created two new brands,
Oysho and Zara Home, and had opened store #2,000 in Hong Kong. Since then Inditex has been opening more than
one new store every single day. In 2008 they created the fashion accessories
brand Uterqüe and they blew past H&M and the GAP to become the largest clothes retailer
in the world. The financial crisis barely slowed Inditex
down, and in 2010 they inaugurated store #5,000 in Rome. Today, Inditex has a total of 7,292 stores
spread across 93 countries and Amancio is the second wealthiest man in the world, worth
$67 billion. He officially retired in 2011, but even after
his departure Inditex has continued to dominate the fashion industry. Thanks for watching guys! Be sure to subscribe and to check out our
older videos. We’ve also got a Patreon and a subreddit,
which I hope you’ll visit. I really hope you enjoyed the video, and as
always: stay smart.

100 thoughts on “Zara: How a Spaniard Invented Fast Fashion

  1. I've always wandered into Zara and the designs are just to crazy, and the materials too cheap. I really don't get the popularity.

  2. This was interesting to watch, I learned a lot! These videos, at least to me, are a form of inspiration to form my own business one day. However, in my opinion, you failed to demonstrate the negative aspects of fast fashion. Many people forget to wonder why their clothes are cheap. The reason they are cheap is that someone out there is not being paid what they should be, and since we desire new clothing constantly these workers have to work harder to achieve our demand. This has cause many forms of sweat shops to spring up thanks to fast fashion. To whom ever reads this remember that business is not solely about making money, but should remember to be ethical as well.

  3. Μαλακα τι λες παραλίγο ο δεύτερος ποιό πλουσιος άνθρωπος στον κοσμο αν ξεκινησει απο μια ετερια που λεγετε zorba

  4. Please do more on clothing companies, wether streetwear or high fashion. The brands I'm interested in: Gucci, A Bathing Ape, Supreme or Balmain/Givenchy/Goyard. I find Bape and Supreme wholly fascinating.

  5. I had never head of Zara until I moved up north, tbh.

    I would be interested in a vid about Primark. Like their prices are so cheap they are kind of just frightening to me.

  6. Quite shocked to know that Zara has taken over the industry by using fast fashion over years😨 We should decrease the time to buy fast fashion that often becuase it is actually bad for the environment. Hope Zara will get through it somehow👌

  7. Zara's fast fashion model is obviously popular and in demand. I appreciate having access to modestly priced stylish basics within my capsule wardrobe . Selling fast fashion is necessarily unsustainable because I wear my clothes for over 10 years.

  8. zara is overpriced.
    walmart quality,burberry-copied design
    jacket for 259$?
    h&m,forever 21 know who they are
    but i think zara is under the delusion
    that they are fashion house

  9. I really like your videos. which are very informative and kinda inspirational, but I have to say there is a Lack of important information. In this one is the fact of the exploitation of workers around the world, which is a common practice done by Inditex, and also the high contribution of fast fashion into the global warm reality. This is an aproach to bussines that, in my opinion, we dont need anymore: The idea of making an industry and big money without thinking about social and ecological sustaintability. Great quality videos but a lack of morality into them.

  10. Personally I always try to have my closing custom-made, it’s actually not as scary expensive as people might think whenever you talk about having items done custom people think of super super expensive but that’s only if you go to like a fashion mogul and have them make your clothes like if you go to Louis Vuitton or Versace into custom clothing or you can literally just go and buy very high-quality materials of whatever you want and then pay the labor to have them made especially in other countries a lot of people don’t realize this in the United States but in other parts of the world were human labor is cheap it is actually the norm to have all of your clothing custom made women mostly just by fabrics and then they take it to the seamstresses and they told them what they want if they want rhinestones they buy rhinestones and tell the seams just where they want them etc. I am not a big fan of fast fashion at all except for the on occasional item like a scarf or something like that or if you just need a sweater but generally I look at close is more of an investment and like to be able to get at least a good year out of them I have custom made clothing that I’ve actually gotten several years out of it also has to do with how well you take care of your clothes when you wash them a lot of people do not wash their clothes with as much hair as we could

  11. Here I was, always thinking the brand was inspired by arabic, to flower (zhara). I like my version better.

  12. Looking at the dates, had Gen. Francisco Franco (who only received help from Hitler) lost the Spanish Civil War to the communist-backed "Republicans" this would have never happened and Spain would have become a ransacked, monopolized, and ruined communist hell. Yes, the stupid and fraudulent USA was arming and aiding the leftist side with their "Lincoln Brigades" like it later clandestinely armed and trained "freedom fighter" Fidel Castro (ruining Cuba), to then play stupid about it for 60 years and now denounce modern Russia for "foreign collusion". Lord, the shamelessness, falsehood, and hypocrisy, LOL. I am off to ZARA now. I need a pink bowtie to go with my flowery cologne. I am keeping it extra gay this weekend, boo boo.

  13. Become insanely rich off of the exploitation of poor working conditions in third world countries and child labour? – he will answer to God when all his riches don't come along with him.

    The Great Equaliser.

  14. I have tons of ZARA clothes of all kinds. Shirts, jeans, jumpers, coats, jackets, shoes….you name it. I really never had a problem with any of the clothes. Some of these items are 6+ years old, worn and washed pretty often and they still hold up great. I don’t care if some of the designs are slightly changed knock off‘s of high end brands. I love their stuff and its great value for money, especially when you find something in the SALE section. Yeah, I know it is mostly made in third world countries, but even high end brands manufacture their clothes there. It is what it is. And for the record: If you think an item that was manufactured in Italy, Portugal, Turkey was being made under better conditions, I recommend you to visit clothing factory’s in one of those countries (I know, they won’t let you in), it is not any different than in a factory in Bangladesh, Pakistan or China.

  15. Can anyone send some links or websites who caters unused clothes? I'm from Philippines and we recycled some clothes sometimes we got from our friends and relatives.
    We make it as rags, mops, and etc. as long as we can still use those textiles.

  16. Good for him. I love Zara because they are affordable and chic. Other famous brands are way too expensive for me with little to no difference in looks.

  17. Zara, instead of playing Identity politics and diversity of models, put your energy into making diverse things. I am 5.3 and I almost never find a decent coat or pants of my size. If you don’t change that, you are losing a customer or may be more.

  18. Oh my god, this video is so FUCKED UP.

    The spanish miracle refers to the revitalization of the spanish economy during the 60s!!! exactly between 59 and 73!! under the Franco government!! not when he died!! La Coruña in particular increased its population by 60 000 in that decade!!! The economy went DOWN right after Franco's death and it stayed that way during the 80's.

    Strict dress code under Franco rule??? DAFUQ??? there were SONGS about miniskirts back in the 60s!!! so what the HELL are you talkin bout??

    this whole video is ridiculous, did you just make up the whole story without looking at wikipedia for 2 minutes before writing the script? now I wonder how many of your other videos are complete improvisation like this one.

  19. Don't talk shit. Under Francisco Franco Spain had the secound fastest growing economy, only shadowed by japan funded by USA. Have you heard the word "Desarrollo", it's the word used in spain to call the Spanish miracel, the economy was reformed greatly, Spain became a capitalist state. Ok, this was still a harsh dictatorship for anyone who wasn't Castilian, but the economy grew greatly in all of Spain.

  20. New subbie here from Zambia. I discovered your channel two days ago and have been binge watching ever since. Really love your voice, style and of course the content. Keep it up.

  21. The "Spanish miracle" happened under Franco's rule who by the end of his tenure was not a totalitarian head of state by any means.
    Check your facts.

  22. they buy their clothes from cheap workers in third world countries. they only care about profit and they dont care about people or enviroment. i work in inditex.

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