Ofir Kertesz, the 2023 Emerging Best Overall Winner at the Global Footwear Awards, shares her inspiring journey behind her winning project, “metamorphosis“. Born in Txfat, Israel, and later studying at Bezalel Academy, Ofir’s life took a dramatic turn after a debilitating car accident in 2021. Fueled by a desire for freedom and rebirth, she channeled her recovery into the creation of three stunning pairs of shoes, symbolizing resilience and transformation. Through her art, Ofir showcases the power of creativity to overcome adversity, inspiring us all to embrace change and find beauty in the process.
How did you choose Bezalel Academy Of Art And Design?
I was looking for a program that could teach me about as many aspects of design and art as possible. And the jewelry and fashion departments gave me just that, with the program starting as multi-disciplinary. I had the time to learn which aspects of the program suited me best and chose to continue my studies focusing on shoe design.
How did the design come to have such an important role in your life?
At about 12 years old I started to create fantasy costumes. I did that for about 10 years and decided to be a costume designer for theatre and movies. When I started my studies I came to learn the workings of shoe design and fell in love with the craft.
What is your inspiration behind metamorphosis?
In 2021 I was involved in a serious car crash. Suddenly I was disabled, had to learn how to walk again, and had to build myself back up. I felt like a butterfly and felt that my shell, my body, had more to offer than I could bring at that moment, so in the next months as I recovered, I had to learn how to utilize my body all over again. Same as I imagine a freshly hatched butterfly had to do when it left its
Can you explain your general design process? How do you start a new project?
In this project, I started with how I felt. I started to look for inspiration around me that sparked that feeling and landed on insects and then studied the process that the insects go through and different kinds of them until I landed on the right shapes that I wanted to create with that inspiration.
What does winning the Global Footwear Awards mean to you?
I’m very honored to be selected, every recognition of my art and hard work brings me so much joy.
Are you currently working on something new that you can tell us about?
I’m currently learning how to crochet, with the idea of getting to know a new craft and maybe merging it to my shoe designs.
Photo credit: Guyrashkovan