Road Twenty-Two, a T-shirt Line With a Message, Closes Its Doors

Road Twenty-Two, a socially conscious San Francisco brand, announced that after four years it is shutting down its business.

Since 2014, the T-shirt line has designed luxury tees while giving jobs to former female prisoners, who helped package the T-shirts at a sewing facility in the San Francisco Bay Area. The brand was named after Road 22, the main state route to the Central California Women’s Facility in Chowchilla, the largest female correctional facility in California.

The brand, which retailed from $60 to $80, was sold to more than 200 contemporary boutiques. It made mostly women’s T-shirts but some men’s looks too, which were worn by stars including Hugh Jackman. But that wasn’t enough to keep the brand going, and its closure was announced on Sept. 13, said Fif Ghobadian, the co-founder and chief executive officer.

“We had an impact but not enough of an impact to keep going,” Ghobadian said. She and a handful of people who managed the company and did sales were never able to make enough money to leave their day jobs, and the people who the brand was helping needed more attention. “You needed to be there every day,” Ghobadian said. “The complexities were greater, and the need for funding was greater than what we needed to do.”

Ghobadian started the brand with Alice Larkin Cahan, who worked as a stylist and had a background in fashion design. The label’s tops featured a range of silhouettes, such as tank tops, crew necks and long-sleeved T-shirts. The brand offered basic tops as well as tops with pop-up-style images and statements such as “Feminist” as well as humor such as “You can’t make everyone happy. You are not an avocado.”

Mission statements also were printed inside the brand’s T- shirts. One statement said: “High-end urban clothing made with the belief that who you are matters and what you wear matters.”

Political considerations were also a part of the brand’s business. It made T-shirts for Gavin Newsom’s first gubernatorial campaign in 2016.

Ghobadian, who will work as a mortgage-loan officer, said there are currently no plans to revive the brand. Road Twenty-Two will have a liquidation sale at The Garage, located at 2955 Geary Blvd. in San Francisco Oct. 6–7.