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10 August 2017

Meet Chad Petersen: For The Love of Leather

Chad Petersen (34) is at the helm of Research unit: a six-year-old startup that specializes in the manufacturing and production of various luxury leather and canvas goods. Noticing a gap in the market for quality, style & longevity without the hefty price tag, this talented leather-smith crafted a solution of his own.

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Chad Done (10 of 19)


Style is how one carries themselves, and clothing is an extension of that character. For me, this should feel effortless. I stay far away from trends and dress for comfort. My personal style is derived from my professional life as we run a progressive, high-end brand that manufactures its own goods, so I must be comfortable.

My style is very utilitarian – I like to keep things classic with a subtle twist. I only buy clothing that I know was made authentically and, as far as possible, made locally with high quality fabrics. Of course, the design and fit must be on point, too!


I’m really in love with the thought that goes into every item. There is extreme care that is put into the fit and choice of fabrics, something you would most likely find in the high-end Shibuya district of Tokyo. At the same time, it does not feel contrived; it’s just effortless and chic.


My favorites are the Japanese-Flannel Shirt in Burgundy because it’s super soft to the touch and luxe, and the fit is perfect. Another is the Regular Fit Chinos – they’re so comfortable as a daily companion. Finally, the Leather Bridle Belts – not only are they made from some of the best vegetable tanned leather available, but also made by Research Unit for Odrin!


I co-founded the RU brand together with my business partner and wife, inspired by her love of leather goods and lack of availability of high quality products at a reasonably accessible price. I love her sense of style – she’s always trying new things that I would not have thought would work but she manages to pull it off every time. Plus, she wears all my clothes as well! She really can wear any type of clothing and make it look chic.


“It’s important to be relentless in chasing your dreams, and make sure any setbacks you experience become your tailwind and not a headwind.”


I like pushing the needle forward in whatever we do, whether it’s designing a new product, or experiencing new views of the world. It’s important to be relentless in chasing your dreams, and make sure any setbacks you experience become your tailwind and not a headwind.