He’s a notorious workaholic who rarely tears himself away from running his empire, but Zara founder Amancio Ortega has finally found time to take a break with his family.

The notoriously private businessman, 80, who is worth £65 billion, still goes into work and puts in nine hours most days  at Inditex – the parent company of brands such as Zara, Pull & Bear and Massimo Dutti.

But he’s finally been persuaded to take some time out on his 67.27 metre yacht Drizzle where he was spotted soaking up the sun in St Tropez with family members. 

The unassuming billionaire, who is the richest man in Europe and the world’s third wealthiest man, looked low key as ever in red swimming trunks as he took a refreshing shower after a dip in the sea.

He was joined on board by his wife Flora and daughter Marta, as well as two of his grandchildren   

Billionaire Zara founder Amancio Ortega, 80, takes a shower on his £41.2 million yacht in St Tropez

Billionaire Zara founder Amancio Ortega, 80, takes a shower on his £41.2 million yacht in St Tropez

Billionaire Zara founder Amancio Ortega, 80, takes a shower on his £41.2 million yacht in St Tropez

The billionaire's daughter Marta, was spotted on board, relaxing in a green bikini top and denim shorts 

The billionaire's daughter Marta, was spotted on board, relaxing in a green bikini top and denim shorts 

The billionaire’s daughter Marta, was spotted on board, relaxing in a green bikini top and denim shorts 

Ortega was joined by his second wife Flora, who he met when she worked for the high street chain Zara 

Ortega was joined by his second wife Flora, who he met when she worked for the high street chain Zara 

Ortega was joined by his second wife Flora, who he met when she worked for the high street chain Zara 

Ortega and Flora began their relationship when she was an attractive young member of staff and he was still married to his first wife Rosalia.

When his wife learned of the affair, Flora was sent to manage the Zara in Vigo, 110 miles from La Coruna.

But Ortega would visit her there and, after he and Rosalia divorced, Flora became his second wife.

Their daughter, Marta, was born in January 1984 and attended a Swiss boarding school, where she learned to ride and ski.

Oretega, 80, still puts a nine hour day in most of the times and is reluctant to tear himself away from the office 

Oretega, 80, still puts a nine hour day in most of the times and is reluctant to tear himself away from the office 

Oretega, 80, still puts a nine hour day in most of the times and is reluctant to tear himself away from the office 

Ortega took time out on his relatively modest 67 metre yacht, Drizzle, with family members 

Ortega took time out on his relatively modest 67 metre yacht, Drizzle, with family members 

Ortega took time out on his relatively modest 67 metre yacht, Drizzle, with family members 

Ortega usually shuns the spotlight and holidaymakers would not have guessed they were in the presence of one of the world's richest businessmen 

Ortega usually shuns the spotlight and holidaymakers would not have guessed they were in the presence of one of the world's richest businessmen 

Ortega usually shuns the spotlight and holidaymakers would not have guessed they were in the presence of one of the world’s richest businessmen 

Marta then studied business management in London, and trained as an assistant in Zara on Oxford Street (where Kate Moss, who modelled there, reportedly rebuffed her friendly overtures).

ORTEGA’S DRIZZLE YACHT 

Built by Feadship’s De Vries yard in the Netherlands 2005, Drizzle sold for 

There’s room for 10 guests in a master suite on the main deck, while the lowers deck hosts four more double cabins.

Crew quarters can accommodate a maximum of 18 people.  

This led to inevitable speculation that she was being groomed to take over the company.

Perhaps with that in mind, the obsessively private Ortega — who reluctantly allowed his photograph to be released for the first time in 2001, when Inditex was floated on the stock exchange — strove to keep Marta out of the spotlight.

However, by dint of her film-star looks, her friendship with jet-setters such as Athena Onassis and a penchant for show-jumping, Marta is a magnet for the Spanish papers.

In 2012, after dating several eligible men, she married top rider Sergio Alvarez Moya.

The ceremony, at her father’s estate, befitted a billionaire’s daughter. The altar was designed by sculptor Anish Kapoor, 20 make-up artists were flown in from New York, and Marta’s gown was created not by Zara, but her couturier friend, Narciso Rodriguez.

The billionaire businessman prepares to enjoy a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean

The billionaire businessman prepares to enjoy a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean

The billionaire businessman prepares to enjoy a refreshing dip in the Mediterranean

Ortega's second wife Flora soaked up the sun in a black swimsuit 

Ortega's second wife Flora soaked up the sun in a black swimsuit 

Ortega’s second wife Flora soaked up the sun in a black swimsuit 

Ortega cahts to his wife Flora while family members splash about in the paddling pool on the yacht's sun deck 

Ortega cahts to his wife Flora while family members splash about in the paddling pool on the yacht's sun deck 

Ortega cahts to his wife Flora while family members splash about in the paddling pool on the yacht’s sun deck 

The son of a railway worker from La Coruna in Spain, Ortega transformed clothing group Inditex from a tiny family dressmaker into Spain's biggest company

The son of a railway worker from La Coruna in Spain, Ortega transformed clothing group Inditex from a tiny family dressmaker into Spain's biggest company

The son of a railway worker from La Coruna in Spain, Ortega transformed clothing group Inditex from a tiny family dressmaker into Spain’s biggest company

ZARA BY NUMBERS  

  • There’s over 2,200 Zara stores in 93 countries 
  • Known for its fast fashion and can get clothes onto shop shelves in two weeks
  • There’s 436 Zara stores in Spain alone
  • Zara is valued at £8.87bn ($11.3bn)

Marta and Alvarez have a four-year-old son. But last summer the Spanish newspapers said Marta was involved with handsome designer’s son Carlos Torretta.

Further eyebrows were raised when a photo of Marta, topless with her back to the camera, was posted on Instagram.

It was taken in Barbados on a shoot for Zara Woman, where she has a senior role. 

The son of a railway worker from La Coruna in Spain, Ortega transformed clothing group Inditex from a tiny family dressmaker into Spain’s biggest company.

Ortega, pictured showering on the deck of his yacht, can certainly afford to enjoy the trappings of a lavish lifestyle

Ortega, pictured showering on the deck of his yacht, can certainly afford to enjoy the trappings of a lavish lifestyle

Even at 80 he can still be found hard at work in the office most days

Even at 80 he can still be found hard at work in the office most days

Ortega, pictured showering on the deck of his yacht, can certainly afford to enjoy the trappings of a lavish lifestyle but even at 80 he can still be found hard at work in the office most days 

Workaholic Ortega takes advantage of the rare opportunity to put his feet up on holiday 

Workaholic Ortega takes advantage of the rare opportunity to put his feet up on holiday 

Workaholic Ortega takes advantage of the rare opportunity to put his feet up on holiday 

Ortega shielded his eyes from the sun with a white baseball cap as he enjoyed a family holiday 

Ortega shielded his eyes from the sun with a white baseball cap as he enjoyed a family holiday 

Ortega shielded his eyes from the sun with a white baseball cap as he enjoyed a family holiday 

The unassuming billionaire may be the world's third richest man, but he rarely does anything to show off his vast wealth in public 

The unassuming billionaire may be the world's third richest man, but he rarely does anything to show off his vast wealth in public 

The unassuming billionaire may be the world’s third richest man, but he rarely does anything to show off his vast wealth in public 

Ortega climbs back on board the 57 metre yacht after taking a dip in the sea in the South of France 

Ortega climbs back on board the 57 metre yacht after taking a dip in the sea in the South of France 

Ortega climbs back on board the 57 metre yacht after taking a dip in the sea in the South of France 

Within a few years he had set up a workshop making nightgowns, lingerie and babywear, and the first Zara opened in Spain in 1975.

Ortega never gives interviews and is rarely photographed. He did not even attend the inaugural ringing of the stock marketbell at the Madrid exchange when Inditex floated in 2001.

In person, Ortega is a persuasive and enthusiastic businessman, who despite progressively handing over the day-to-day management of the company over the last decade continues as an active part of it, people familiar with Inditex say.

He is known for selecting designs based on feedback fromshop assistants who zero in on shoppers’ reactions.

‘If he speaks to a shop assistant and he likes what they had to say, he will pay more attention to that than to any of his managers,’ a former Inditex director told Reuters.

Ortega never gives interviews and is rarely photographed

Ortega never gives interviews and is rarely photographed

Ortega did not even attend the inaugural ringing of the stock marketbell at the Madrid exchange when Inditex floated in 2001

Ortega did not even attend the inaugural ringing of the stock marketbell at the Madrid exchange when Inditex floated in 2001

Ortega never gives interviews and is rarely photographed. He did not even attend the inaugural ringing of the stock marketbell at the Madrid exchange when Inditex floated in 2001

Ortega recently donated 320 million euro to public hospitals to fund equipment to treat cancer

Ortega recently donated 320 million euro to public hospitals to fund equipment to treat cancer

Ortega recently donated 320 million euro to public hospitals to fund equipment to treat cancer

Ortega met his spouse Flora (centre) when she worked for Zara and the pair married after he split from his first wife

Ortega met his spouse Flora (centre) when she worked for Zara and the pair married after he split from his first wife

Ortega met his spouse Flora (centre) when she worked for Zara and the pair married after he split from his first wife

Battle to become the Zara Zillionaire: How a reclusive fashion boss’s two daughters from different marriages are vying to inherit the £58bn empire… by David Jones In La Coruna, North-west Spain For The Daily Mail

Since its ageing protagonist won’t be around for ever, despite daily walks and gym sessions, there is also the question of who might succeed him.

Which brings us to his glamorous younger daughter, Marta, and her racy circle of friends.

His marriage to Rosalia brought two children, Sandra, now 48, and Marcos, 45.

He had hoped his son would be his heir, and was devastated when Marcos was born with cerebral palsy.

The two daughters had very different upbringings. Sandra, pictured, attended state school

The two daughters had very different upbringings. Sandra, pictured, attended state school

The two daughters had very different upbringings. Sandra, pictured, attended state school

Biographer Blanco says they then drifted apart, and Ortega started a relationship with Flora Perez, an attractive young member of staff.

When his wife learned of the affair, Flora was sent to manage the Zara in Vigo, 110 miles from La Coruna.

But Ortega would visit her there and, after he and Rosalia divorced, Flora became his second wife.

Their daughter, Marta, was born in January 1984 and she became the apple of her father’s eye, while her half-sister gravitated towards her mother.

The two daughters had very different upbringings. Sandra attended state school, but Marta finished her education at a Swiss boarding school, where she learned to ride and ski.

Marta then studied business management in London, and trained as an assistant in Zara on Oxford Street (where Kate Moss, who modelled there, reportedly rebuffed her friendly overtures).

This led to inevitable speculation that she was being groomed to take over the company.

Perhaps with that in mind, the obsessively private Ortega — who reluctantly allowed his photograph to be released for the first time in 2001, when Inditex was floated on the stock exchange — strove to keep Marta out of the spotlight.

After all, Sandra has maintained her anonymity, despite becoming Spain’s richest woman in 2013, when her mother died and she inherited her seven per cent stake in the company. 

In 2012, after dating several eligible men, Marta, pictured, married top rider Sergio Alvarez Moya

In 2012, after dating several eligible men, Marta, pictured, married top rider Sergio Alvarez Moya

In 2012, after dating several eligible men, Marta, pictured, married top rider Sergio Alvarez Moya

However, by dint of her film-star looks, her friendship with jet-setters such as Athena Onassis and a penchant for show-jumping, Marta is a magnet for the Spanish papers. 

In 2012, after dating several eligible men, she married top rider Sergio Alvarez Moya. 

Marta and Alvarez have a four-year-old son. But last summer the Spanish newspapers said Marta was involved with handsome designer’s son Carlos Torretta.

Further eyebrows were raised when a photo of Marta, topless with her back to the camera, was posted on Instagram.

It was taken in Barbados on a shoot for Zara Woman, where she has a senior role.

Among Ortega watchers, all this cemented a view that began forming several years ago, when he entrusted the day-to-day running of Inditex to former cigarette company boss Pablo Isla: that Marta probably won’t succeed him, much as he dotes on her.

But, for now, the octogenarian who made glamour accessible to a generation seems content to keep working, and walking his dog along La Coruna’s bleak promenade. 

 

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