Antonio Percassi was born in Clusone in 1953.
He is the youngest of six children and debuted as a footballer with Atalanta at the age of seventeen, beginning a sports career that will end at the age of 23 and give way to his entrepreneurial activity.
In 1976 he met Luciano Benetton and a year later opened the first Benetton store in Bergamo. Marking the beginning of the Percassi’s activities in the retail sector 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 significant partnership responsible for the growth of the Percassi company, another milestone attesting to the company’s affirmation on an international level includes 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. Opening 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 significant 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, 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 lover of challenges, decided to create his own original brands. The brand Kiko Milano was founded in 1997 from 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. Kiko has achieved a highly prestigious reputation for rapid international expansion.
In the cosmetics industry, Percassi is also present with Womo and Bullfrog brands, new challenge for brands entirely dedicated to men.
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. To date, Percassi is a 50% shareholder in the company.
Another distinctive feature of the Percassi company, strongly supported by its founder, is the close interdependence between retail development operations and 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 key projects: we Orio Center Shopping Center in Orio al Serio (Bg), Antegnate Shopping Center (Bg), Franciacorta Outlet Village in Rodengo Saiano (Bs), Valdichiana Outlet Village in Foiano (Ar) and the Sicilia Outlet Village in Agira (En).
Among the projects in progress: 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 Torino Outlet Village and finally an important commercial and residential initiative in Grand Canyon in Arizona (USA).
Anotnio Percassi’s ultimate challenge involves the recent acquisition of the Crespi d'Adda, listed since 1995 in the Unesco World Heritage. The complex, with an area of about 90,000 square meters sits on an area of about 135,000 thousand square meters, 36,000 of which wooded, and dates back to 1878. It was used as the first factory of the Crespi family. The building will have a multipurpose functions: besides becoming the new headquarter of the Percassi company, with offices and centers for research, Crespi D'Adda will be transformed into a cultural center, the seat of the newly 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, Atalanta, one of Antonio Percassi’s longtime passions, became an essential part of his life once again. He returned to be the President of the black and blue team, a position he had held from the late 1990s to the beginning of 1994.
Antonio Percassi has six children, five of whom have been involved in the activities of the various companies for a considerable amount of time. Stefano deals with the development of the cosmetic brands; Matteo manages the Retail and Food sectors; Luca is in charge of the development of real estate projects and CEO of Atalanta Bergamasca Calcio; Giuliana is responsible for the development of some brands in the food sector; Federica heads the PR activities for the cosmetics department. In January 2013 Michael, his youngest son, was born.