The history of our grup begins with an intuition which led the born of famous denim brand Rifle. At the beginning, in fact, Giulio Fratini, Sandro’s father began to buy by weight the used clothes of American soldiers to sell them as rags in Prato. During this activity he discovered the jeans (almost unknown in Europe at the time) produced by a North Carolina company, Coney Mills. He then boarded with his brother, Fiorenzo and arrived in the United States precisely in Greensboro, North Carolina, where he reached an agreement and began to import denim. In 1949 the company with the name of “Confezioni Fratini” was founded in Prato.
At the end of the fifties, with the transfer of the headquarters to Barberino di Mugello, the company grew and changed its name to Super Rifle or simply Rifle.
The brand name “Rifle” was chosen because indicated the “world of the West” and subsequently other brands related to the same model has been also used : Rocky, Winchester, Giant, Colt.
The Rifle brand had a large growing success from the sixties to the eighties. In addition to jeans other successfull articles were produced like t-shirts and jackets.
The success was not limited to Italy, because the desire of this type of clothing brought the demand also in other countries; primarly in central Europe and then the ex-USSR coutries. In Moskow was one of the first west european companies to open a store, in 1988.
In the nineties the presence of single-brand stores was gradually reduced, thanks to the possibility of exporting clothes and easily selling them directly to large retail chains.
At the end of the nineties the reduction in sales put the brand in front of the need of a profound company reorganization and property shares among all founders’ families. After that, Giulio’s son, Sandro became the unique brand Rifle owner and also he started a deep investment diversification into real estate and hotellerie by important acquisitions in major Italian cities, like Florence, Rome, Venice and Milan.
A new hotel chain was founded called WTB (“Why The Best Hotel”), formed by a dozen structures from 3 to 5 star luxury, administered by his wife, Antonella.
In 2011 Sandro Fratini, together with his son Giulio, takes a new challenge into renewable energy sector by opening some Biogas plants in Italy central regions.
More recently in 2017, a Swiss investment holding company, Kora Investments SA enters with a relevant share and subsequently became the major shareholder with 55%. By exiting from the direct business operation of Rifle, the Fratini’s family is today focused on bringing even more energy in developing and enforcing the Belvedere Angelico activities and looking for new challenges.