Antonio Percassi was born in 1953.
He was the youngest of six children and made his debut as a footballer with Atalanta at the age of seventeen, beginning his sports career that will end at the young age of 23 to begin his entrepreneurial activity.
In 1976 he met Luciano Benetton and the year later he opens the first Benetton store in Bergamo.
This marked the beginning of the Percassi’s activities in the retail field and a thirty-year collaboration with the Benetton family, which over the years would lead to the management of the Benetton Group’s most important stores in Italy and throughout the world for the brands United Colors, Zerododici, Sisley and Playlife.
If the collaboration with Benetton was the first major partnership responsible for the growth of Percassi Group, other milestones attesting to the company’s affirmation on an international level included the joint venture with Inditex, the group led by Amancio Ortega, who in 2001 looked to Antonio Percassi to help the famous Zara brand enter the Italian market, with the opening of the first megastore in Milan, in Corso Vittorio Emanuele, followed by the opening of additional Zara and Zara Home stores, as well as the Inditex Group’s other brands (Massimo Dutti, Oysho, Pull and Bear, Bershka and Stradivarius).
Other historic retail development collaborations spearheaded by the founder Antonio Percassi in the retail development field include those with the Swatch, Nike, Levi’s, Calvin Klein Guess and Tommy Hilfiger brands, in addition to luxury brands such as Gucci, Ferrari and Ralph Lauren.
After developing and managing important brands worldwide, Antonio Percassi, a great visionary and challenge lover, decided to create his own original brands. The brand Kiko Milano was born in 1997 from a personal intuition, then concretely implemented by his son Stefano. This cosmetics brand is one of the most successful case histories in the entrepreneurial landscape in recent years.
As a matter of fact, Kiko has achieved a highly prestigious reputation with a rapid international expansion. In the cosmetics industry, Percassi is also present with its own brands: Madina, founded in 1993 with the aim to offer a new approach to colour in women’s make-up and skin care and Womo, a new challenge for a brand dedicated exclusively to men’s body care.
In 2007 Antonio Percassi began another project in the men’s world when he initiated a partnership with Flavio Briatore, creating the clothing brand Billionaire Italian Couture, a luxury sartorial line.
Another distinctive feature of Percassi, strongly supported by its founder, is the close interdependence between the retail development operations and those in the real estate sector: a strategic and unique combination of experiences, which led to the development, implementation and management of major shopping centers and outlets with the collaboration of major international players. Among his main projects, we can remember the Orio Center Shopping Center
in Orio al Serio (Bg), the Antegnate Shopping Center
(Bg), the Franciacorta Outlet Village
in Rodengo Saiano (Bs), the Valdichiana Outlet Village
in Foiano (Ar) and the Sicilia Outlet Village
in Agira (En).
Among the projects in progress we can remember: Westfield Milano Shopping Center
, situated on the outskirts of Milan (Segrate) and slated to be the largest shopping center in Europe, to be built in collaboration with the Westfield Group, one of the world's leading retail developers; the San Pellegrino Terme project
, the Torino Outlet Village
and finally an important commercial and residential initiative in Grand Canyon in Arizona
The ultimate challenge of Antonio Percassi concerns the recent acquisition of the industrial site of Crespi d'Adda (Bg). A unique example of industrial archaeology, listed since 1995 in the Unesco World Heritage.
The complex, with a surface of about 90,000 square meters in an area of about 135,000 thousand square meters, 36,000 of which wooded, dates back to 1878 and was used to be the factory of the Crespi family, becoming later on base of factories, still in the textile sector, with the transfer to Sti and to the Legler family. The factory hosted for 125 years manufacturing processes until 2003, and the apartments are still taken.
The building will have a multipurpose function: beside becoming the new head office of Percassi with offices and centres for research, Crespi D'Adda will be transformed in a cultural centre, seat of the new instituted “ The Antonio Percassi family Foundation”.
In September 2009 Antonio Percassi was awarded an “Honorary Degree” in Construction Engineering from the University of Bergamo.
In June 2010, one of Antonio Percassi’s longtime passions, Atalanta, became an important part of his life once again when he returned to be the President of the black and blue team, a position he had held from late 1990s to the beginning of 1994.
Antonio Percassi has six children, five of whom have been involved for a considerable amount of time in the operations of the various companies. Stefano, CEO of Kiko Milano and Billionaire Italian Couture, Matteo and Luca in charge of major Real Estate development projects (Luca is also CEO of the Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio), Giuliana and Federica are involved in the retail operations of Percassi's companies. Michael, the youngest member of the Percassi family, was born in January 2013.
In February 2013 Stefano and Luca were both named Vice President of Odissea S.r.l., the holding of Percassi.