My name is Eliya Zohar.
At work I'm a designer and I create hand made shoes and bags from leather.
I was born and raised in Moshav Ya'ad in the Galil.
Ever since I was little I loved creating and walking barefoot.
In 2003 I began my studies in Bezalel academy, in the jewellery department, at the fashion and accessories track.
In the beginning of my third year at school I took a shoe course with Eliora Ginzburg.
I won't forget the moment she opened her leather suitcase and started to unfold the leathers.
She spoke about them with such a spark in her eyes – I got hooked right away.
Making shoes fit me like a glove to a foot: to design, to create with my hands and to make shoes
for myself! ( I could never find shoes easily – I have a wide foot, I'm never comfortable in them,
they are not my taste, and I'm barefoot most of the time).
The first model was a combination of fulfilling the desire to always walk barefoot
and abiding to the social agreement that outdoors you walk around with shoes on.
The challenge was to create a shell around the foot, in which it will still feel the earth
and yet will be fashionable and comfortabl to walk in.
More than anything, it was the search after the new urban barefoot.
When I finished my studies I worked for Inbar Yosifoon, owner of the brand: "Shoe Maker".
I later worked for the shoe designer Neta Graziani, owner of "Neta Graziani", and then
for Erez Amram, owner of the brand "Chief Shoes". At the same time I developed my own work.
During those years I learned a lot, mainly from the craftspeople of the shoe world
(a rare bread of people which is becoming extinct). When I encountered a problem or a
dilemma, I would turn to them, and they would happily open the door to the endless
knowledge spaces of shoe making.
Slowly the demand for my work increased, and when I no longer had enough free time
to create all the orders I received, I took a deep breath, said goodbye to the 'Chief' and
I founded Urban Barefoot.
Today I work in a studio in a stunning compound of creative women in Kfar Vitkin.
I enjoy very much creating in my cosy and beautiful bubble, and I enjoy the feedback
I get from the environment and people from all over the world who buy my creations and
allow me to keep creating happily.