Notes on fashion, style and culture

Monday, 13 May 2013

Kobi Levi Designs ‘Wicked’ Shoe Collection

In the Disney fairytale kingdom, it is perhaps Cinderella who has the most famous shoes of all. However, when it comes to style, it is undoubtedly the villainesses rather than the princesses of the realm that are most memorable. It is these evil characters that have inspired footwear designer Kobi Levi – the man who shod Lady Gaga in her Born This Way video. Levi who specialises in footwear design and development likes to describe his work in terms of ‘wearable sculptures’.

His latest collection entitled Witchcraft can be described as more literal than inspired however, with the faces of the villainesses actually printed on the insole of the shoe.

Levi extravagant designs draw on characters like Ursula from The Little Mermaid, Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty, and the Evil Queen from Snow White.
Evil shoes: Israeli-born footwear designer Kobi Levi has created what he describes as 'wearable sculptures' drawing on characters like Ursula from The Little Mermaid
The Ursula shoe is a sling-back sandal that represents her octopus-like body. The front of the shoe is designed to look like the top of her dress so from a front view it looks as though she is wearing it.
There is a pair of Maleficent shoes which are shiny black pointy-toed complete with her stylised headpiece and cape. A pair of sling-back heels reminiscent of Ursula’s octopus dress and body depict her character in footwear form. The Evil Queen is represented by a pair of heel-less peep-toe shoes complete with crown ankles. 

Quikry: There is a pair of Maleficent shoes which are shiny black pointy-toed complete with her stylised headpiece and cape
Maleficent’s face is framed in this pair of scaly, shiny and black pointy-toed shoes whilst her horns wind their way up your legs.

Speaking about his designs Kobi Levi said: ‘Walt Disney characters represent the ultimate fantasy world. I loved them as a child and still do today. Their naivety captures and makes me feel like I’m in a magical world. The villains are special because they are iconic and interesting. They are most memorable for me. My choice to work with Ursula, Maleficent and the Evil Queen was an easy one. I always loved them. Although they are all stereotypes, each one has her uniqueness and a distinct character and temperament. Maleficent is elegant, respectable, impressive and wise. Ursula is funny, amusing and cunning. The Evil Queen is cold, distant, majestic and beautiful.’


Queenie: The Evil Queen is represented by a pair of heel-less peep toe shoes complete with crown ankles



Intriguing designs: Speaking about his designs Kobi Levi said: 'Walt Disney characters represent the ultimate fantasy world. I loved them as a child and still do today'
The Evil Queen is a heel-less peep-toe that frames the queen’s face whilst the upper part of the shoe serves as her crown. The peep-toe itself is cleverly designed so that red nail polish on your toes completes the Queen’s necklace.
Levi graduated from Bezalel academy of Art & Design, Jerusalem 2001. In his personal blog the footwear designer describes his inspiration and working technique in detail: ‘In my artistic footwear design the shoe is my canvas. The trigger to create a new piece comes when an idea, a concept and/or an image comes to mind. The combination of the image and footwear creates a new hybrid and the design/concept comes to life. The piece is a wearable sculpture. It is ‘alive’ with/out the foot/body. Most of the inspirations are out of the ‘shoe-world’, and give the footwear an extreme transformation. The result is usually humoristic with a unique point of view about footwear. Another aspect of the creation is the realization. All the pieces are hand-made in my studio. The challenging technical development is the key to bring the design to life in the best way.’

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