Kobi Levi – shoe designer

Today, this blog shihyenshoes turns 1 year old. What a milestone! Who knew so much could be written about shoes.

It was around this time last year when I first started this blog that I discovered the shoe designer Kobi Levi. Kobi Levi is an Israeli footwear designer (Disclaimer: I am not making any political statement. I am only about the shoes). He graduated from the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design in Jerusalem in 2001. Kobi Levi’s shoe designs are works of art, with eye-watering price tags to match. Seriously, a pair of Kobi Levi shoes costs more than what some people earn in a month. Buying a few pairs of his shoes is equal to a downpayment on a small house! (Giving real meaning to ‘the old woman who lived in a shoe’). But his designs are so unique, funny and quirky that the price is acceptable. All his shoes are handmade in his studio. His designs don’t look like they can be worn as shoes, but they all function as shoes.

Kobi Levi’s double boot design was worn in Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ music video. Blink and you’ll miss it. You’ll need to pay careful attention to the video in order to see it. (All photos are from Kobi Levi’s blog http://kobilevidesign.blogspot.com/)

Double boots 1[1]

Kobi Levi’s double leather boots from 2000, worn in Lady Gaga’s ‘Born This Way’ video.

Whoopi Goldberg is another celebrity who has worn Kobi Levi shoes. She wore Kobi Levi’s chewing gum leather shoe when she met President Obama. Whoopi Goldberg has also been seen wearing Kobi Levi’s banana peel shoes. These leather shoes are called banana slip-on shoes; I like the play on words of slipping on a banana peel. A very suitable choice of shoe for someone as funny as Whoopi Goldberg.

Chewing gum sidewalk[1]

Experiencing a sticky feeling? Chewing gum leather shoes by Kobi Levi (2009).


Banana slip-on shoes by Kobi Levi (2010)

The following two designs are early designs by Kobi Levi from 1998. They have a market theme with a shopping basket and a shopping trolley. I think my neighbour has a shopping trolley that looks like that!

Market 1[1]

‘Market’ by Kobi Levi (1998). Platform shoes in the style of a shopping basket.

Market trolley 2[1]

‘Market’ Trolley’ by Kobi Levi (1998), made of textile and rubber. Yes, that is is a slingback high heeled shoe!

Here are some Kobi Levi designs from 2011.

Coffe Diner version 4[1]

Coffee? by Kobi Levi (2011). There is also a version in white porcelain jugs. Both made of leather.

Blond ambition 5[1]

Blonde ambition by Kobi Levi (2011). I almost feel as if these shoes are going to start singing at any moment.

Contemporary Chinese 4[1]

Contemporary Chinese (2011). Leather stilettos by Kobi Levi

Because I am Chinese, I like Kobi Levi’s Contemporary Chinese design – chopsticks for the stiletto heel and leather uppers that look like a fire dragon. Beautiful.

Kobi Levi also likes designing shoes inspired by animals, especially birds. Here are a few examples. It’s not only swans, ducks and flamingos, but he has also designed shoes in the shape of roosters, chickens, storks, ostriches and toucans.

Swan 3[1]

White swan by Kobi Levi (2011). There is also a black swan design

Duck 1[1]

Mallard duck by Kobi Levi (2011)

KobiLevi Flamingo 2[1]

Pink flamingo stiletto by Kobi Levi (2012)

He is also inspired by other sea animals, like orca whales and sharks.

Shark 1[1]

Shark by Kobi Levi (2012), made of leather.

I love the fun and humour in Kobi Levi’s shoe designs. His shoes are like wearing works of art on the soles of your feet.


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