Shoe designer Kobi Levi is known to push the boundaries of shoe design. He gained overnight success because of a famous fan.
In his words:
“I’ve always been passionate about art. I’ve always wanted to know how things were made. When I was a kid I went to an amusement park and I looked at a statue to see how it’s built and made. Since then, I knew I wanted to become an artist. I studied art and design in Jerusalem. After graduation, I went on to work as a freelance shoe designer.
“Later, I decided to upload my footwear creations online and that’s when things exploded. I received an email from Lady Gaga’s stylist asking to borrow my ‘Double Boot’ shoe design for her ‘Born this Way’ music video. I was very surprised because I didn’t know things could happen this way. I was just making my shoes in a small room in my apartment in Tel Aviv. I thought my friends were just fooling with me but it turns out Lady Gaga’s stylist did see my designs online. I knew that if anyone could pull off my shoe designs it was Lady Gaga.
“Eventually, I thought my overnight success was going to pass. But it didn’t. I decided to open a studio and an online shop.
“As a shoe designer, I use iconic images or objects that everybody can relate to. Everybody sees them and knows them but most of the time don’t notice them. It’s there. It’s part of our life. It can be very ordinary but now it’s shown in a different light. One of my designs is a shoe that’s stepping on chewing gum. I just froze that motion of the chewing gum stretched out from the floor to the heel and it became a high-heeled shoe technique. It’s a crazy thing in a way but it’s funny. I enjoy designing shoes. The humor is part of it. It’s not a very serious job for me.”