Kobi Levi: The Footwear Genius Behind Lady Gaga’s Iconic Double Boots

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Unless you’ve been avoiding your computer, you’ve probably already come across these bizarre yet amazing shoes from Kobi Levi.

And unless you’ve been living under a rock, you would’ve already seen or at least heard “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga, the video in which one of Kobi Levi’s bizarre-o designs makes an appearance right on the very feet of LG herself (double boots with the toe in front and the back, anyone?).

One look at Kobi Levi’s shoes is all it takes to understand why the Israeli footwear designer is getting all this attention (and a much sought-after and highly-paid celebrity endorsement to boot). Kobi Levi’s footwear designs are very unusual, wonderfully whimsical, and, in their own crazy, unique, and humorous way, also unexpectedly beautiful.

Israeli shoe designer Kobi LeviIsraeli shoe designer Kobi Levi (Credit: Kobi Levi)

Kobi Levi graduated from Bezalel Academy of Arts and Design in Jerusalem in 2001. In his CNN interview, he says he has been studying fine arts since fourth grade and found that footwear always makes its way into his sketches, drawings, and sculptures.

Currently working as a freelance designer focusing on footwear design and development, Kobi Levi has collaborated with many Israeli and international companies, designed commercial footwear for many different countries, and presented his designs in exhibitions all around the globe.

Still, he says he’s not making money off these shoes or out to make money off them. Look at Kobi Levi’s wearable sculptures, or “shoe creatures,” as he calls them. We’ve arranged them according to inspiration because that’s the only way to make any sense out of them. Would you buy or wear any of Kobi Levi’s footwear creations?

Inspired by everyday things and everyday situations

Market Trolley shoeMarket Trolley shoe, 1998

Market shoeMarket shoe, 1998

Rocking Chair shoeRocking Chair shoe, 2003

Kobi Levi Chewing Gum shoe

Kobi Levi Chewing Gum shoeKobi Levi Chewing Gum shoe, 2009

Slide shoeSlide shoe, 2010

Slingshot shoeSlingshot shoe, 2010

Contemporary Chinese chopstick stilettosContemporary Chinese shoe (chopstick stilettos), 2011

Ordinary shoe styles with an unexpected twist

Double Boot, 2000 (As worn by Lady Gaga and Racquel Zimmerman in the "Born This Way" video)Double Boot, 2000 (As worn by Lady Gaga and Racquel Zimmerman in the “Born This Way” video)

Sport Elegant shoeSport Elegant shoe, 2001

Androgyne shoeAndrogyne shoe, 2002

Mother & Daughter shoeMother & Daughter shoe, 2011

Kobi Levi reassures people that his shoes, unbelievable as they are, are 100% wearable. “They’re always real shoes,” Levi says in his interview with CNN, “It’s never supposed to be just a toy.”

He adds: “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.”

He’s right. It’s hard to believe his shoes are wearable just by looking at them. There is one surefire way to find out, and that’s by trying the shoes out for yourself.

Inspired by the human body

Tongue shoeTongue shoe, 2005

Blow shoe, 2010 (Okay, so this one is technically inspired by a blow-up doll which is modeled after a human body anyway so it still fits)Blow shoe, 2010 (Okay, so this one is technically inspired by a blow-up doll which is modeled after a human body anyway so it still fits)

Inspired by iconic images

Blond Ambition shoeBlond Ambition shoe, 2011

Olive Oyl shoeOlive Oyl shoe, 2011

Inspired by animals

Dog shoeDog shoe, 2010

Miao shoeMiao shoe, 2010

Toucan shoeToucan shoe, 2011

Mallard Duck shoeMallard Duck shoe, 2011

Swan shoeSwan shoe, 2011

Inspired by food

Banana Slip-On shoeBanana Slip-On shoe, 2010

Coffee Porcelain Version shoeCoffee Porcelain Version shoe, 2011

Coffee Diner Version shoeCoffee Diner Version shoe, 2011

Celebrity Endorsement and Internet Fame

Kobi Levi once said he’s not out to make money off his shoes, but it looks like he is, even if he didn’t want to in the first place. Not a bad problem to have, huh? With Internet fame and gaining fans in celebrities such as Lady Gaga and Whoopi Goldberg, there is no place for Kobi Levi and his shoes to go but up!

Whoopi Goldberg alone has been spotted in three different Kobi Levi shoe designs. She has the “Banana Peel” shoes, the “Mr. Orca” shoes, and the “Chewing Gum” shoes, which she infamously wore to meet President Obama on an episode of The View.

Whoopi Goldberg wearing eKobi Levi shoesWhoopi Goldberg in Kobi Levi “Banana Peel” shoes at the opening night of ‘Sister Act’ at the Mogador Theater in Paris, France on September 20, 2012; in Kobi Levi “Mr. Orca” shoes at The Opening of the Luc Besson’s Cité du Cinéma in Saint-Denis Paris, France on September 21, 2012; in Kobi Levi “Chewing Gum” shoes on an episode of ABC’s ‘The View’ aired on September 25, 2012 (Credit: News Pictures / WENN / The View)

We wonder which of the new Kobi Levi shoes below Whoopi Goldberg will add to her growing collection. Once again, Levi drew inspiration from animals for these new styles, but he has a couple of new muses — cheerleaders and baseball.

Inspired by sports:

Kobi Levi Cheerleader shoes in red“Cheerleader” shoes in Red, $2,100

Kobi Levi Cheerleader shoes in blue“Cheerleader” Shoes in Blue, $2,100

Kobi Levi Baseball shoeKobi Levi “Baseball” Shoes, $2,100

Kobi Levi Baseball Cap shoeKobi Levi “Baseball Cap” Shoes, $2,100

Inspired by animals:

Kobi Levi Ostrich shoeKobi Levi “Ostrich” Shoes, $1,960

Kobi Levi Flamingo shoeKobi Levi “Flamingo” Shoes, $1,960

Kobi Levi StorkKobi Levi “Stork” Shoes, $1,960

Kobi Levi Black Swan shoesKobi Levi “Black Swan” Shoes, $1,680

Kobi Levi Chicken shoesKobi Levi “Chicken” Shoes, $1,540

Kobi Levi Rooster shoe in blackKobi Levi “Rooster” Shoes in Black, $1,540

Kobi Levi Rooster shoes in brownKobi Levi “Rooster” Shoes in Brown, $1,540