By Eva Defeses
When we see Kobi Levi´s shoes for the first time, we need some moments to figure out what they are, and we try to imagine ways to get our feet inside them if we were to try them on. It really is an exercise of imagination. My first feeling was: I hate them. Another mindless haut-couture design that nobody can use in real life and costs tons of money. Who would actually wear something like that? After browsing through a few more of his shoes, I my heart stopped at the Miao pair. Oh, the little kittens, the little kittens! Then, I smiled at the Banana one. I became meditative at the slingshot weapon-like shoe….only a Jew could come up with such a tribute to King David! I fell in love with the Contemporary Chinese pair and passionate over Chewing Gum design.
I was hooked and got curious about the “who”, the “why” and the “how”: from CNN to Lady Gaga, from Vogue to the Virtual Shoe Museum, from the Telegraph newspaper to art exhibition websites, Kobi Levi’s shoes are the hottest news in the shoe world. His “wearable sculptures” cannot leave anyone indifferent. Hate them or love them but you definitely want to see more. The accent of so many of the reviews I read is put on the artistic factor, the craftsmanship and the originality. But as artistic and original as they are, this is not the reason why I fell in love with them.
Koby Levi’s shoes simply lift up the spirit. They make a statement about the person that wear them, they also are a great indicator of the owner’s state of mind, of his emotions and feelings. They bring colour, humour, lightness and sheer energy to our daily grey lives. They offer us the reason to smile even if everything is gloomy around us. They are a recipe for good humour.
Just as their creator says, they are alive. Kobi Levi: “When I design a shoe I think about it as a sculpture to wear, an art piece you live with. You and your body affect its look and it affects yours. Footwear should have its life with and without being on the feet, on the contrary to cloths that exist only when being worn.”
Sculptures or toys, art or shoes, the debate can go on forever. The point is that they are alive; they are able to transmit and create emotions, to provide the much needed magical touch of fairytale. Kobi Levi designs shoes for women who are not afraid to experiment with anything, for the restless Alices who still wander about in a surreal wonderland.
Let’s face it. Women have been obsessed with shoes from the days of…well, Cinderella. Shoes have always played a big part in fairytales and it is only natural that such things as fairytale shoes exist.
So, I will keep on walking, for now only in my imagination, in my newly found fairytale shoes, like Alice on a bright summer’s day. And if I come across any Goliath, my shoes will be able to take him down once more!
Do you like the sexy ninja-girl sophisticated look of oriental cartoons? Try a pair of Contemporary Chinese, where “east meets west, fire dragon inspired upper with chop-sticks stilettos”. Are you in love and feel like you have wings? Try a bird-like shoe-creature. Beware, they are magic and if you don’t love them enough, they might take off on their own and find their true owner! Me, that is.
Check-out: The 13 Coolest Pairs of Kobi Levi Shoes
Kobi Levi graduated from Bezalel academy of Art & Design, Jerusalem, in the jewelry and accessories design department. He now specializes in footwear design and development/making. He works as a freelance designer. In the past 5 years he collaborated with Skinsfootwear Company and is currently working on his own men shoe line in Tel-Aviv, Israel. He developed industrial footwear in Italy, China and Brazil. His work is presented in various exhibitions in Tel-Aviv, Jerusalem, Tokyo, Verona, St. Etienne and Berlin.