The official site for "Project Accessory" Season 1 offers video, designer information, Rate the Runway photos, blogs and more.
Originally from Denver, James Sommerfeldt currently lives and works in Chicago, Illinois. He also spent some time in San Diego and Canada while growing up. His affinity for design began at the age of five, when he was inspired by the magic and enchantment of Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella, who instilled in him a sense of grace and enchantment. His father, a design engineer, taught him design principles and fundamentals of engineering solid construction. Together, they built custom furniture to suit his mother’s taste. His mother taught him to draft and pattern fabrics, sew home furnishings and mend clothing, providing James with an essential foundation for footwear design in later years. In 2005, James enrolled at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he is currently a senior. The passion for patternmaking and building that his parents ingrained in him led him to pursue footwear design. Through his affiliation with the school, James was offered a studio assistant position with internationally acclaimed fiber artist Nick Cave in 2008. Over the course of the next two years, James became aware of the global impact and importance of conservation, recycling and repurposing materials as a contemporary artist and designer through his work with Nick. This past March, James left his position to be by his ailing grandmother’s side. Since then, he has devoted his time and energy to developing his shoemaking and footwear design career.