Zara was named after a bearded Greek man.

The high street store's namesake was the bushy-bearded boisterous peasant in the 1964 film 'Zorba the Greek', according to communications director Jesus Echevarria.

Zara owner Amancio Ortega was allegedly struck with inspiration after watching the classic film in 1975 and decided to call his new shop Zorba, but faced last minute complications.

Jesus told The New York Times newspaper: ''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 moulds for the letters in the sign, so they just rearranged them to see what they could find. They found Zara.''

It seems 76-year-old owner Amancio struck gold with his final name choice, since the high street favourite has expanded all over Europe and is a firm favourite with Britain's Duchess of Cambridge and her sister Pippa Middleton.

It was recently announced the company has made him the third richest person in the world with a net worth of $53.6 billion (£37.3 billion).