"Rat & Boa is for the lovers, daredevils, women of the night,
believers and free spirits. . ." - Rat & Boa
Name(s): Stephanie Cara Bennett & Valentina Muntoni
V: I'll give you a clue - I walk to the side and I’ll nip ya bum.
Online Boutique: www.RatandBoa.com
Personal: @theboabitch & @Valentina_Muntoni
Five words that describe Rat & Boa?
Eclectic, Mischevious, Sexy, Experimental, Mish Mash
Does the name Rat & Boa have any significant meaning?
Steph: It's from a Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac) quote, 'We are about as compatible as a Rat and Boa constrictor'. We have taken on the personalities of the 'Rat' & 'Boa'. I am the Boa, as I would definitely say I'm more the more Bohemian out of the two, and Valentina is the Rat with a more punky, grungy style ----- We have a very similar vision, and have that strange thing going on where we think the same things, at exactly the same time!
V: It definitely has a significant meaning and is a reflection of ourselves. As Steph said, I am the Ratty and she is the Boa. We played on those names as the rat has connotations of underworld and filth (charming -I know!), which is more inline with my personal style, where Steph has her thing going on, but at the same time we gel and have the same vision 99% of the time - apart from the odd lovers tiff over Steph wanting more of a flare on a sleeve and me wanting more skin on show! Rat & Boa is a reflection of our personalities.
How did Rat & Boa evolve? Where are you located?
S: We became friends (about 5 years ago) after a bizarre run in at Val's flat, and a trippy, night spent listening to Devendra Banhart, after both doing our own thing for a while, we met up a few years later and out of nowhere Rat & Boa was born! Ha!
V: We lost touch for a brief period but soon rekindled our love, got talking, got creating and both needed something to get our creative juices flowing again. Rat & Boa was the answer. Although we are a UK based company, we are are always on the move - one of the most exciting things about our job! Next week, we will be flying to Bali.
What’s your design philosophy? Where do you draw inspiration from?
S: I think it is important to design and create what we love, not what we think everyone wants to buy. We take inspiration from everywhere, everything and everyone. I think Valentina would agree, in that we can be very fickle and change our minds often, ha ... one day we love simple, minimalist and sexy, and the next we love all things coloured, with glitter and lots going on. Somehow, when it all comes together, it just kind of works, and in the result we have Rat & Boa. We also take a lot of inspiration from our own wardrobes ... and the obvious is that of Photographers, Stylists, Films, etc., that I admire.
V: It’s forever changing . . . it could be of a picture of a snake we find on tumblr where we draw inspiration from, or an old dress we pull out of our wardrobes and tweak here and there and within 5 minutes have created a whole new design. Our hearts lie with the 1970's and the 90's, which I think reflects in our brand, and as long as we keep it real and both have as much passion for it, its a Rat & Boa design.
If you could travel on a magic carpet, where would you go?
S: India, or South America - both somewhere I would LOVE to go, and imagine it will be amazing, full of colour, vibrancy and culture, and an amazing source of inspiration for our brand.
V: Can I travel back in time? I would go way back when they had real music. I'd listen to some of my favourite bands and experience what it was really like back in the day. Also, while I'm there, I may as well borrow some clothes and bring them back with me and make a fortune . . . creating a Rat & Boa vintage line ;)
What’s your idea of happiness?
S: Being free. Working for myself has definitely upped my level of happiness and freedom. Friends and family. You cannot beat the feeling of being around people you love.
V: My friends and family, being happy, as it usually has a massive impact on my happiness. But, I also feel happiest when exploring, creating and ... a little bit of partying chucked in for good measure!
Best advice that you’ve ever gotten?
STEPH: Take risks and follow your dreams. Also, if you do not try, you will never know.
V: My mum usually comes out with the best advice . . . “Onwards and upwards”, “Never doubt yourself, just be the best you can be”, and my favourite, “Go get em' Twinks”! Haha.