After a childhood of surfing and skateboarding on Oahu’s North Shore, the “Gossip Girl” star, party-circuit fixture and friend to many brands is making waves on the island of Manhattan.
On a recent afternoon, Evan Mock was trying to do laundry in his East Village condo, but something was wrong with the dryer. Perturbed beeps cut through the retro-soul music playing in the airy third-floor walk-up. The machine kept starting and stopping. He mentioned a theory, something about excessive lint accumulation and a defective filter.
Mr. Mock, 25, is probably best known for his role as the pink-haired, Park Avenue-raised, Tarkovsky-loving bisexual son of a right-wing media mogul on the HBO Max reboot of “Gossip Girl,” which returns for its second season on Dec. 1. But the downtown denizen has a lot of other things going on.
A king of the “collab,” he has worked with brands including the Danish jewelry manufacturer Pandora and the Italian footwear designer Giuseppe Zanotti. He has modeled for designers including Paco Rabanne and Virgil Abloh. His skateboarding prowess has landed him a hefty sponsorship from Hurley and an elusive spot on the Instagram grid of Frank Ocean. A few months ago he started a fashion line, Wahine, with the stylist Donté McGuine.
He is a bona fide multi-hyphenate, a party-circuit fixture, an it boy, a man about town. Also, he has frosted tips now.
Despite the hyper résumé, Mr. Mock is laid-back. Serene. As the light streamed into his apartment, he reclined by a floor-to-ceiling corner window. “Sometimes it’s too much,” he said, referring to the intense sunlight. “But I’m not complaining.”
He took a swig of coconut water from a Tetra Pak. His feet were up. They were clad in last month’s limited release North Face x Paraboot shoes, the ones with the vulcanized rubber outsoles, matelassé full grain leather uppers and an elastic collar — a mule so exclusive that it was not even available for purchase. As the streetwear website Hypebeast reported: “Simply put, you cannot buy this.”
Growing up, Mr. Mock often went around barefoot. Born and raised on the North Shore of Oahu, his father put him on his first surfboard when he was 2 years old. “I caught my first wave before I could swim,” he said.
He was home-schooled into his teenage years to accommodate peak surf hours. Around age 11, he also got into skateboarding. (“Pretty late,” he said.) By 16, he was making more than $15,000 a month from skateboarding sponsorships. He then moved to California to pursue what he called his “skateboarding dreams.” (He did air quotes around the words “skateboarding dreams.”)
Hints of his modeling career were scattered throughout the tidy two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment. On his kitchen counter sat a Louis Vuitton purse — a brand for which he walked the runway in 2019. In the corner of the living room, there was an overflowing Rimowa suitcase — the luxury German luggage maker for which he wrote, co-produced and starred in an online commercial last year. It shows Mr. Mock skateboarding through Manhattan donning a Rimowa cross-body messenger bag as he recounts, in a voice-over narrative, a whirlwind romance with a girl he met outside a club in Barcelona. Entranced by her beauty, he speaks of impulsively buying her a ticket to accompany him to Paris. But a lost passport, a brief stint in airport jail and six-hour flight delay put an end to the fling.
Across the room, by a stack of shoe boxes, what looked at first like a regular McDonald’s Happy Meal box, was, upon closer inspection, a box of Cactus Plant Flea Market x McDonald’s collectibles from the streetwear label’s limited-run release. The figurines (originally retailing around $10) were reportedly listed on eBay for over $25,000, though the prices have since dropped significantly.
Mr. Mock got up to clean his lint trap. “Let’s just get on some bikes,” he said.
He puts a lot of mileage on his VanMoof e-bike. The day before, he rode uptown for a “Gossip Girl” A.D.R. (automated dialogue replacement) session, then back down to the Lower East Side to check out a Japanese whiskey bar he might invest in on Chrystie Street.
“We could go to Curbs,” Mr. Mock said, referring to a section of Lafayette Street that has become popular among New York skateboarders for the many curbs afforded by its triangular layout.
He started to get changed, switching his white T-shirt for a vintage dark gray Number Nine T-shirt. Above the chest pocket it had a small graphic of a speech bubble containing the word “cigarettes.” “It’s a Japanese brand that was illest back in the day,” Mr. Mock said of Number Nine. “Everyone in Japan knows what’s up.”
He put on and then took off a hoodie of his own design, a boxy Wahine zip-up. On the front, the outline of a valentine heart surrounding a word that cannot be printed in The New York Times. “I drew it on my friend’s bathroom wall and then I took a picture of it,” he said of the design’s origin.
He completed the outfit with a pair of dark-wash Palace jeans, Ambush edition Nike Air Adjust Force sneakers, a silver bomber jacket, a Palace hat and Isabel Marant sunglasses. Outside, he glided through Alphabet City on his next-gen smart-tech bike. As the scenery swept by, he kept one hand in the pocket of the unzipped bomber.
Near the REI store, he swerved lithely across Houston Street to give a hello kiss to the photographer Gray Sorrenti, who happened to be passing by with the model-actress Blue Lindeberg. The chance encounter took place directly across from the 55-by-75-foot Calvin Klein billboard where, one year ago, Mr. Mock had appeared, smiling down at NoHo in nothing but black boxer briefs and thigh tattoos.
The next stop was Madhufalla, a juice and smoothie bar on Mulberry Street. Mr. Mock ordered his usual: a ginger shot and a wheatgrass shot. “Sweeter than you’d think,” he said. He downed both in the store and ordered an açai berry almond milk smoothie to go.
Around the corner, at Curbs, he fist-bumped a couple of acquaintances before taking a seat on a bench. Between sips of the smoothie, he talked about “Gossip Girl.” The original CW series, which ran from 2007 through 2012, was, he said, “before my time.” And when the showrunner of the HBO Max reboot, Joshua Safran, reached out to him about playing the part of Aki Menzies, Mr. Mock had never acted.
“There were a lot of different firsts,” he said. “When I first read the script, I thought there was nothing more opposite than my actual life. In terms of living somewhere cold, going to a private school, all the drama.”
He paused. Then picked up again: “It’s funny, because I never actually went to school. But the character is basically me — besides being filthy rich, going to a private school and living uptown in New York.”
On his first day of filming, he had to take part in a sex scene with Emily Alyn Lind, the actress who plays his girlfriend. The inherently awkward situation had the added discomfort of taking place in September 2020. Between shots, the cast members wore K95 masks and plastic face coverings. During their downtime, the actors had to isolate in a room by themselves until they were called back to the set. “But, honestly, I’m kind of glad it happened like that, because we got the weird stuff out of the way,” Mr. Mock said. “Hopefully, everything from here on out will be a little bit quote-unquote normal.”
He watched a skateboarder wipe out in front of the bistro Jack’s Wife Freda. Ms. Lindeberg, the actress and model, walked by again. This is something Mr. Mock loves about New York: “You basically have no option but to see homies everywhere you go,” he said. As if on cue, another friend, the actor Nico Hiraga, rode up on a skateboard, joined shortly by another skateboarding friend, George Hemp.
“We could go play pool,” Mr. Mock suggested.
Soon Mr. Hiraga and Mr. Hemp got Citi Bikes, and the group headed north. All three biked almost exclusively one-handed. The ride was punctuated by more run-ins. On St. Marks Place, Mr. Mock pulled over to hug his brand-deal agent, Jenelle Phillip, who was outdoor-dining at Cafe Mogador. On East 10th Street, at the edge of Tompkins Square Park, he stopped to chat with the skateboarding documentarian Greg Hunt, who was out with his camera, trying to take advantage of the good light. Mr. Mock said he had spotted other familiar faces in the 12-block journey, but he couldn’t pull over for everyone.
It was early evening by the time he and his friends reached the Ace Bar on East Fifth Street. “Meet the Fockers” was playing on the TV screen above the Skee-Ball machine.
“I love this movie,” Mr. Hiraga said, smiling. “I’m in my saga era.”
A few feet from the pool table, a man stood contrapposto, beer in one hand, the other, adamantly on his hip. Mr. Mock said he tends to stand similarly, in a kind of half-akimbo pose. Skateboarders have a certain way of holding themselves — Mr. Mock offered the word “feminine” to describe it, but then agreed that it’s more about fluidity, or a specific grace that comes from being in a constant negotiation with gravity.
He added that he has broken each arm three times. In one spill, he broke four fingers. What happens, he explained, is that you learn how to fall.
“If you watch skaters fall, it looks like Bruce Lee fighting water,” Mr. Mock said. “Falling in the same certain type of way, you get reflexes after a while. You can save yourself most of the time, but sometimes you can’t.”
Is breaking bones scary?
“It just comes with it,” he said. “You expect it.”
He turned back to the pool table, adjusting his Palace jeans, which were more or less held up by a leather belt that he said he had gotten from “some random dude in Rome.”
Source: Television - nytimes.com