Kobi Levi's Wild High Heels Strut to Beachwood

[courtesy: Kobi Levi]
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As spring comes to Northeast Ohio women begin to break out their fanciest shoes. 

But likely no one has a pair shaped like a cat!

"Miao" by Kobi Levi

The shoes of Israeli designer Kobi Levi are optical illusions. 

At first they look like high heels, but after a second glance you realize they're made in shapes like a swan or a violin. 

"Swan" and "Mallard Duck" by Kobi Levi

"I studied accessory design in college, and I found that shoes would be my art form as sculpture, wearable sculpture.  They're meant to be worn," Levi said.

His designs for high heels run the gamut in terms of shapes and sizes from bicycles to xylophones to cheerleaders to elephants.

"Cheerleader Red" and "Cheerleader Blue" by Kobi Levi

"Most of the [inspiration] comes from when you just look at things.  Like when you're walking down the street, watching TV or listening to music, it's everything that's around us," he said.

Some of his most popular shoe designs are in the shape of birds, which came to him during a walk through the city.

"I just saw a bird eating something from the sidewalk, and I saw that silhouette that I like of high heels," he said.

But the city bird wasn't classy enough so he did an internet search to find more colorful inspirations.

"Toucan" by Kobi Levi

"I took the toucan, the ducks and the swans.  It's the same structure, the same overall design but stylized in a different bird type," he said.

In the end Levi wants his shoes to be high art as well as high heels.

"I want people to enjoy it when they look at it, not necessarily if they buy it or use it.  It's art, so you can present it on a podium, in a gallery, or you can wear it and be inside the art," he said.

"Chewing Gum" by Kobi Levi

The shoes of Kobi Levi are on view at The Temple-Tifereth Israel in Beachwood through Friday, July 6, and you can call ahead to make an appointment to try on any of the shoes.

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