Footwear of Fancy: Bird Shoes

Swan, by Kobi Levi

We wax rhapsodic over birds’ beauty—their plumage, their contours, their colors. What more fashionable way to channel their style and grace than into fancy footwear? Israel-based designer Kobi Levi has created a series of bird shoes, featuring a swan, a mallard, and a toucan. Though they’re not yet on the market, Levi is working hard to get them there. A brief email interview with the designer follows, along with more photos.

Audubon: What was the inspiration for your bird series shoes?
Kobi Levi: Well, I wanted to create a shoe design inspired by a bird after noticing one on the street one day. I "saw" in my mind the design of the beak heel with the bird body silhouette as the upper.

Are you a birdwatcher?
I'm not a birdwatcher, but I simply love animals! They are very inspiring, fascinating. I see a character in every one of them.

Mallard, by Kobi Levi

Why did you choose the birds you did?
After thinking and drawing the basic bird shoe design I started to look at pictures of birds. As I was looking, there were more and more amazing types. I couldn't choose and decided to make a "mini collection.” I simply chose three iconic species…but there are more…many more.

What are the primary materials you used?
I choose materials that will show the design the best way. In these three designs it was mostly leather in different colors and textures.

Do you plan to create more bird-shoes, and if so, what species will they include?
Of course, as mentioned, I couldn't choose, and in a way I didn't—so I assume there will be more bird shoes. I'll let you wait and see which ones will be "casted for modeling”—always better to simply see it with no preview.

Which shoe is your favorite? Which bird would you like to see Levi design next?


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