Artist Spotlight: A Dozen Reasons to love Shoe Designer Koby Levi
July 5, 2016
Kobi Levi is an artist who is as humble as he is talented; he channels all of his diva-ness into his creations. Despite being a rising star in the in the prestigious world of luxury footwear, Kobi continues to teach atThe Guild, Israel’s only dedicated shoe and accessory training institute. When stylist Noa Ben Izhak first took a class I teach to visit the school and meet with Kobi, I was
immediately dazzled by the ways in which he transforms humble shoes into quirky, ingenious works of art.
Kobi’s genius lies in his ability to create objects that seem to dance (as the Hebrew saying goes) between the raindrops. His shoes are whimsical, child-like confections that are simultaneously very adult, sophisticated and glamorous. They clearly come from a place of great humor, but are, at the same time, serious examples of a time honored craft. From a design perspective, Kobi has a talent for taking a commonplace object or creature and paring it down to its most simple, recognizable elements from which to create a shoe. At that same time though, his shoes are highly detailed, very literal takes on the everyday; one never feels that he is being abstract or academic in his approach.
Kobi seems genuinely surprised by his success. His fanciful designs have, as he puts it, “taken on a life of their own”, gaining him international custom and acclaim following the 2010 debut of his design website. His celebrity clients include Whoopi Goldberg (a shoe collector), Lady Gaga, who chose his “Double Boot" for her Born This Way music video and most recently Fergie who used two pairs of his shoes in her video M.I. L.F. $.
Kobi’s website includes sketches and information on his creative and technical process, a reminder that behind the fantasy lies serious thought, effort and skill. Kobi’s shoes are meant to be wearable pieces of art that are also sturdy, comfortable footwear. Other designers should take a leaf from Kobi’s book, he always creates a prototype in his size so that he can literally walk a mile in his customers shoes.
Here are a dozen examples of Kobi's outrageous, ingenious shoe designs:
1. The Chewing Gum Shoe:
2. The Shopping Basket:
Kobi's take on the ubiquitous Israeli hard plastic tote that is murder on the fingers!
3. The Granny Cart:
For some reason I am reminded of my parents very New York joke that says "If my grandma had wheels she's be a pushcart." According to the Urban Dictionary, this quip is Hebrew in origin