Birds, bananas, coffee cups, music icons and pretty pets…what do they have in common? Normally, nothing. But footwear designer Kobi Levi doesn’t feel the same. Most of the things that surround us may be extremely transformed in special shoes by him. His shoes speak for himself, but we wanted to find something more about the ingenious brain behind.
You can also read a more detailed article about his work here.
DesignRulz: How do you define creativity?
Kobi Levi: For me creativity is expressing your ideas, your point of view in an interesting form, and not only explaining it…
Designrulz: How did you come to this philosophy … that a shoe should be an artistic ‘sculpture’?
Kobi Levi: This is the way I was looking at shoes myself, and my design approach is showing it. I allow the inspiration become the shoe, and not merely decorate a regular shoe silhouette.
Designrulz: Which is the most interesting story behind a shoe realization?
Kobi Levi: Each style has its stories about the creation process, as they are all so weird, all the process is unusual. Materials are not the common/standard in some cases, like in the Madonna shoe. I think I mentioned it in my TEDx talk, I “became a mini hairdresser” for making this pair, and went to buy blond hair extensions for it. When I asked the sales girl for it she said: “Don’t you think you are more a brunette type?!…” So what was I supposed to say, these are for a shoe?! It is worse than the “classic” excuse/phrase: “it is for my friend…”. So I just said: “I’ve always wanted to be blond” :) This also fits the design title “Blond Ambition” after Madonna’s tour with this look of her.
Designrulz: Is there a limit to your fantasy? Have you ever felt that an idea was too extreme to become possible?
Kobi Levi: I hope not… :) fantasy is not supposed to have limits. When I have an idea I can’t wait to make it real, so I work until it is “born”. The process is very difficult and demanding, but I try to see is as a challenge! The result is worth the effort every time.
Designrulz: What should a customer know about your shoes before buying them?
Kobi Levi: They are real and wearable, technically constructed like any other shoe. If someone finds high heels challenging, then the same case applies here but not more.
Designrulz: Are your shoes a manifest against “common places”? Do you think we should dare more in our lives?
Kobi Levi: I think we should enjoy every aspect of our life, and make it interesting. Common is not a bad thing when you like it, the most natural thing usually makes sense, and it can be extreme or not.
Designrulz: What shoes would Kobi Levi wear from his collection?
Kobi Levi: I’m working on men shoe designs these days. Finally I’ll wear some of my “shoe creatures”
Designrulz: You graduated Bezalel Academy of Art & Design from Jerusalem in 2001. What did you borrow from your culture in your artistic projects?
Kobi Levi: I find it difficult to say what exactly influenced me… I guess every person is influenced by his/hers culture as well as his/hers reaction to it. I enjoyed my studies, especially when as students we were encouraged to place creativity first in each project. I continue with this approach in my artistic shoe designs in parallel to my commercial work.
Designrulz: What can you tell us about your future exhibitions?
Kobi Levi: There are many requests for exhibitions for 2012. We cannot fulfill all of them. In April I’m scheduled to hold an exhibition in Lyon, France. Updates will follow on Facebook and my upcoming website. I would love to visit Romania again and display the designs.