clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Seam and Heard: Romulus von Stezelberger, Designer/Founder of South Paradiso Leather

New, 4 comments

Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.

"My name is von Stezelberger. Romulus von Stezelberger." And the man keeps what the name promises. As founder and designer of South Paradiso Leather company, he makes sure that in his clothes (made out of the best of the best in leather, velvet, denim, or satin), you will look and feel like a rock star—that is, if you’re not one already (Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols is a client). Enter his hippie-heaven-enclave for a custom fitting and one-of-a -kind jacket (“we make seven measurements for the arm alone”), or opt for the most outrageous pair of jeans you will ever find. A bag with that? Or a belt? Or a cuff? No problem. South Paradiso is not just clothes, it’s a lifestyle.

What inspired your latest collection?
I don’t work in collections, whoever works in collections is stupid. I hate everything commercial. My inspiration: nature, women, drugs, vintage, records. Alice in Wonderland and Snow White—the original Walt Disney movies.

Who’s the quintessential South Paradiso woman?
Brigitte Bardot, Raquel Welch, Sophia Lauren.

Who’s your favorite LA designer?
I am—I have everybody else in fashion.

Who’s your favorite designer overall?
East West Musical Instruments founder Norman Stubbs, Emilio Pucci’s prints, Granny Takes a Trip, Biba, old Levi's stuff I like a lot.

What are the advantages of working in LA over working in NYC?
NYC is full of girls who only want “it” things to fit in, I can’t stand it. Everything is planned, nobody has a soul. Here in LA, there’s more space and freedom to be whoever you want to be.

What’s your go-to shopping spot in LA?
In –N- Out burger on Sunset. Anybody who shops anywhere else but at flea markets or thrift stores in LA is stupid.

What’s the season’s must-have item?

The season’s-not-under-any-circumstances – don’t care if you’re Angelina Jolie or Katie Holmes – have item?
Fedora hats for men. Anything from Ed Hardy and Von Dutch.

South Paradiso Leather is located at 4450 Avocado Street, Los Feliz, (323) 655-5656. Photos by Christina von Messling.