The husband-and wife team launched Research Unit, designing and producing custom made luxury leather goods, in 2012. Last year they opened their store at The Watershed craft and design hub on Cape Town’s V&A Waterfront.

Chad & Erin-Lee Petersen
Chad & Erin-Lee Petersen
Image: Christof van der Walt @ One League

The one indulgence you would never forgo? EP The fact that I can make the ultimate luxury bag and keep it if I want to. CP Taking our dogs to work and even some business lunch meetings.

The grooming staples you’re never without? EP My MAC crème colour Pink Shock and my Muji mirror. CP My Aesop Moroccan Neroli Shaving Serum.

Your alltime favourite gadget? EP My Muji steam diffuser and lamp. CP My iPhone 6. I need to keep up with what’s happening in SA and around the world in design.

The single object you would never part with? EP My gold Lanvin dress, which has been way too small for me for years. CP My first pair of Diesel jeans. They’ve been repaired over and over again and have so much character.  

A beautiful black silk dress represents ultimate style

Your favourite drink? EP M&B yogurt fruit shake. CP Brewers & Union Steph Weis craft beer.  

Favourite restaurant? EP and CP Dudu in Berlin. Such a cool place! Our favourite 
dish is the Dudulicious.

Personal style signifier? EP A beautiful black silk dress represents ultimate style for me. CP A crisp white shirt. It is timeless.

The last thing you bought and loved? EP A sleeveless coat which I purchased in Amsterdam. CP My bedside lamp I bought in Berlin. It is really beautiful in its brutalist simplicity.  

Your favourite timepiece and why? EP and CP Our iPhones; they keep our lives organised.

An unforgettable place you’ve travelled to? EP Amsterdam, Netherlands. That was a magnificent experience!  CP Bangkok, a crazy place I could not get enough of. 

The book on your bedside table? EP Sleeping with the Enemy: Coco Chanel’s Secret War, by Hal Vaughan. CP Quasars, Pulsars, and Black Holes, a Scientific Detective Story by Frederic Golden.

The last meal that truly impressed you? EP A salad from Narona (Cape Town). CP My wife’s Thai green curry.

The last music you downloaded? EP Hotel Costes. CP Manu Chao.

The thing you’re eyeing next?  EP A paper-thin vase from Lisa Firer Design. CP A Conrad Hicks kitchen knife. It is hand-forged from an anti-aircraft gun spring. 

The one thing you’ll always find in your fridge? EP and CP Chicken schnitzels.

The best gift you’ve given recently? EP A silk scarf from Germany for my sister. CP A bespoke, stone-cast birdbath for my father-in-law.  

The best one you’ve received? EP A friend bought us a stay at Webersburg Wine Estate in Stellenbosch.  CP Ray-Ban Caravan sunglasses my wife bought me. They were discontinued but she managed to source a pair!  

The place that inspires you and why? EP Papier and the Aesop store in Berlin, because they are simple yet so progressive. CP Our house. Beautiful, abundant rays of light fill the space in the afternoon and bring with them a strong feeling of nostalgia.  

A recent special find? EP and CP Our home, a 114-year-old house with Oregon pine flooring and sash windows, a fireplace and high ceilings. We knew it belonged to us…  

The last item you added to your wardrobe? EP A printed T-shirt my sister got in Paris. CP My Nike Huaraches – the most comfortable sneakers I’ve ever had. 

Favourite city and why? EP and CP Berlin is so inspiring – everyone looks designer and rides a bicycle.

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