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October 23rd, 2015. Mark it down as the first day Zara owner Amancio Ortega overtook Bill Gates to become the richest person in the world. According to the Huffington Post, there was a shuffling at the top of Forbes' real time billionaire rankings this morning and for a brief time Ortega, with a net worth upwards of $79 billion, ranked ahead of the Microsoft founder. By 10am ET, order had been restored and Gates had reclaimed the throne. Ortega's wealth is currently "down" to $78.6 billion.
Amazingly, Ortega's wealth far surpasses anyone else's in fashion. The closest competitor on the list is Bernard Arnault, owner of the luxury conglomerate LVMH which owns labels like Louis Vuitton and Dior, is the 13th richest man in the world with $39.2 billion (at the time of this writing) — with less than half of Ortega's fortune.
Ortega founded Zara in 1975 and has since created the Inditex group which also owns brands like Pull&Bear and Massimo Dutti. The Huffington Post notes that Ortega's net worth has been steadily climbing since Forbes released its 2015 Billionaire Rankings in 2015, in which Ortega was listed as the fourth richest person in the world.