The richest woman in Spain, Rosalia Mera, and a major stakeholder in, Inditex SA, the company that owns the Zara chain died at the age of 69 this week.
Mera cofounded the first Zara store in 1975 in La Coruna with her then-husband, Amancio Ortega.
Inditex issued a statement on Friday confirming her death but did not provide any details as to the cause of it, according to the Associated Press.
Spanish media is widely reporting that Mera suffered a stroke while on vacation in the Mediterranean and passed away Thursday night at a hospital in La Coruna, her place of birth.
She held 5.1 percent of Inditex and Forbes estimated her fortune at $6.1 billion. The magazine says she holds the No.1 spot on its list for being the “wealthiest self-made woman.”
Mera dropped out of school at age 11 to work as a seamstress. With then-husband Amancio Ortega she started making dressing gowns and lingerie in their living room. Together, the couple built their business into the $21 billion global fashion empire it is today.
Zara is a store that specializes in low-priced versions of more expensive popular clothes and that is one of the reason’s why it is so successful not only in Spain but also all across the world.