Brandon Jennings has always defied convention to traverse a path true to his instincts. Throughout his pro career, which included nearly a decade in the NBA and stops in Italy and China, Jennings became a beloved figure for his larger-than-life personality and foundational path to success. Much of the same can be said of his budding streetwear label, Tuff Crowd. Its rising stature in streetwear is far from traditional. Yet finding success through traditional avenues has never been Jennings’ thing.
That mindset began to show itself more than a decade ago when the Compton native was among the first prep stars to play basketball professionally overseas in lieu of the traditional one-and-done tour in the NCAA. Jennings was quickly marked by many as an amateur athlete gone rogue, when in fact he was a confident young trailblazer maneuvering a flawed system. His move followed the advice of another freethinker, Sonny Vaccaro, a fierce combatant of the NCAA and its hard stance of not paying its athletes. Jennings ventured to Italy fresh out of high school and later to China between spells in the NBA. That international exposure would prove influential to Tuff Crowd, informing a minimalistic aesthetic often seen throughout Europe with a dash of Eastern flamboyance.