By Emanuella Grinberg, CNN
June 6, 2011

 

(CNN) -- To see the Kobi Levi's "shoe creatures" might make you wonder how it's possible to teeter on high heels inspired by chewing gum, chopsticks or toucans. But the Israeli designer says they're intended to be worn -- just ask Lady Gaga, who wore a pair of his shoes in her video, "Born this Way."

Levi says he's not necessarily out to make money off his whimsical creations. He has a job designing and developing a line of women's fashion shoes in collaboration with an Israeli shoe store chain. For him, the shoe is just a canvas for creating something unexpectedly beautiful.

CNN recently talked with the very unusual shoemaker and below is an edited transcript.

 

CNN: First things first: Are the shoes wearable?

Kobi Levi: They're always real shoes; it's never supposed to be just a toy. I make each pair one by one, and they're strong; technically, it can function like any other high-heeled shoe. It just looks kind of more crazy than usual so people sometimes cannot believe that it is wearable. Technically, it's wearable if somebody's brave enough to actually put themselves in them.

Production is another story. With a commercial shoe, when you make something more creative that's pushing the limits, on the factory side they don't care how it looks. They want to produce, they want to make more and more of a quantity; it's a business.

As a designer, I don't mind if it's not going to be a big quantity, I just want it to be the best, no matter if it's one pair, two pair or million pairs. It's really a big effort to get the right shape and usually, in production, they don't care... So for now, I make every little thing by hand. I make the first one, so nobody can tell me it's impossible, it's too crazy -- there it is! It's real; it's on the table, all the development is done... The thing is about art mainly, more than just to duplicate and sell in mass production, which I'm not objecting to; I just want to make it the right way, first.

 

CNN: What advantages does the shoe as a canvas offer over traditional 2-D forms of art?

Levi: It is more challenging! A shoe is a very complicated object to design, it involves a lot of mini architecture: materials, techniques, tooling. All the shoe parts -- upper, insole, heel, sole -- need to be created perfectly together to give the whole picture. The end result is a real fantasy sculpture that can have another life when is worn, and not only on display. My "shoe creatures" have another appeal when you see them on the feet.

CNN: What goes into making each pair?

Levi: Each new design can take about a month. Each one is its own experience but it starts with an idea. I sketch it from different angles to see first in a two-dimension drawing how it looks.

If it looks good I continue through to three-dimensional. I need to create all the tooling myself, make the heels by hand, the insoles, all the inner structure with metal pieces to hold the curve in the right position. If it needs a platform, I carve it by hand from cork, foam rubber or other material. For the upper part I make the pattern cuts, test materials, and then cut it from chosen materials to create the first pair.

Basically, any first pair is like the first real sketch, the model. When you make it next time it's gonna take less time and be much better because you know the most difficult points or what can go wrong, so you can make it again. Usually, for a new design, I make just one or two pairs. Basically this is the process for now.

 

CNN: Where do you get ideas from?

Levi: Well, everywhere, literally! An idea can just pop up and I decide to explore it, or I can choose a theme/concept and design with related images. I can work with an iconic image of an animal or character, or "freeze" a situation (like "Chewing gum"), or play with the foot/shoe shapes themselves (like "Double boots" or "Mother&Daughter"). Or, totally another thing: choose a surprising inspiration, or choose an obvious, predictable one but design it in a different way than expected.

 

Continue reading the interview here: CNN!

Kobi Levi's facebook page

Kobi Levi on blogspot

 

Views: 687

Tags: CNN, Kobi, Levi, Shoe, Shoes, art, craft, crafthaus, sculpture, wearable

Comment

You need to be a member of crafthaus to add comments!

Join crafthaus

Comment by Yu-Ping Lin (Rainey) on January 8, 2012 at 7:26am

Amazing!! Thank you for posting!

Latest Activity

Glen Guarino commented on Mark Fenn - Studiofenn's group Tales From the Tool Box - Chapter Two
"I enjoyed all the great designs. Great show."
4 hours ago
Glen Guarino joined Mark Fenn - Studiofenn's group
Thumbnail

Tales From the Tool Box - Chapter Two

Thank you for viewing this on-line exhibitionThis exhibition is a showcase for narrative work.I would like to personally thank all the makers who took the time to submit work for this on-line exhibition. Image Left: DualityMaker: Younha JungImage Credit: Kathleen BrowneSee More
4 hours ago
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"At the Bench Video Project – Silver Sail Pendant Part One Soldering is one of the hardest techniques to master and a technique that takes a while to perfect.It is nice to be able to make jewellery that does not involve any soldering. Being…"
yesterday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"'Make your Mark' 2015 Confirmed We have some exciting news…after the great success of our first ever Mark your Mark student open-day in 2014; this year we are holding a second event in 2015 over two days! This FREE event will be…"
yesterday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Valuation Days, Goldsmiths' Hall These popular valuation events offer the chance for a private one-to-one consultation with our expert valuer whilst your pieces are professionally appraised. You will also receive a comprehensive portfolio of…"
yesterday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"Getting Started Programme 2015 Getting Started is an intensive, free week-long business development programme held at the Goldsmiths’ Centre for those who have graduated from a certified UK Precious Metal course in the last five years. The…"
yesterday
Teresa F Faris joined Brigitte Martin's group
Thumbnail

Co:Operation GARNISH

Can the metal and jewelry field overcome its division and send out a much-needed signal?We appreciate and respect our historical past and acknowledge that current materials have a rightful place in jewelry/object making! Arriving at this message is the goal of this exhibition cooperatively arranged by Rachel Timmins and Brigitte Martin.Please join this group to stay informed !! This is the official exhibition blog.See More
yesterday
Jennifer Merchant added 2 discussions to the group SNAG
Friday
Ruudt Peters posted a video

GROUND NOW workshop with Ruudt Peters

Why Ground Now? Informational video about Ruudt Peter's upcoming Summer workshop. More info: http://crafthaus.ning.com/profiles/blogs/ruudt-peters-ground-now-workshop
Friday
Barbara N McFadyen is now a member of crafthaus
Friday
Rebecca Skeels commented on Rebecca Skeels's group The Association for Contemporary Jewellery
"There is a new Government Scheme introduced to support students currently completing their undergraduate degree having paid the new £9k undergraduate fee. Next year’s graduates will be able to apply for the new postgraduate loan scheme…"
Friday
Jennifer Merchant commented on Brigitte Martin's group SNAG
"2015 Call for Nominations and Candidacy   The 2015 SNAG Election will determine three (3) members of the Board of Directors, and one (1) member of the Nominations & Elections Committee.   The deadline for candidates to be added to the…"
Friday

© 2015   Created by Brigitte Martin.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service