Monday, 17 December 2012

What's in a name?

Before diving into the subject of this post, I just want to state this: I hate it when my husband is right. And especially when he's right about one of his favourite subjects. As a proud Greek man, he's always teasing me about how everything (culture, art, languages) comes from Greece - cue "My big fat Greek wedding" for those who've seen it and the "kimono" discussion. I, naturally, think this is exaggerating just a little bit. So, if there was one thing I would have been fairly sure that it had no connection to Greece, it would have been my favourite and also the biggest women's wear retail chain in the world - Zara. Turns out - I was wrong...

Ever wondered what was behind the name of the high street label? If you had imagined a sultry, stylish, Spanish senorita of the likes of Penelope Cruz, you may be surprised (or shocked) to learn that, in fact, the senorita is a big, hairy Greek man. Almost.

When Zara founder Amancio Ortega was searching for a name for his first fashion store 37 years ago, his first choice was "Zorba", after the movie "Zorba the Greek". <<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.>>, Zara communications director Jesus Echevarria told The New York Times

So, it turns out, that after all, the Greek are behind everything important. And with Amancio Ortega now the third richest man in the world, this is important indeed. This piece of information will not be, of course, shared with my husband.

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