MADRID (AP) — Rosalia Mera, a seamstress who co-founded a clothing store in northwestern Spain that grew into one of the world's largest retail chains, has died at the age of 69. She was Spain's richest woman and a major stakeholder in Inditex SA, the owner of the Zara chain that expanded rapidly across the globe over the past several decades.
Inditex issued a statement Friday confirming her death but did not provide more details and declined comment via email. Spanish media widely reported that Mera suffered a stroke while on vacation on the Mediterranean island of Menorca and died Thursday night at a hospital in La Coruna, the city where she was born in Spain's Galicia region.
Mera founded the first Zara store in 1975 in La Coruna with her then-husband, Armancio Ortega. He is listed by Forbes as the world's third-richest person.