One afternoon, Evan Mock tried to do laundry in his East Village condo, but something was wrong with the dryer. Disturbed beeps cut through the retro-soul music played in the breezy third-floor walk-up. The machine kept starting and stopping. He mentioned a theory, something about excessive lint buildup 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 April 1 . December. But the inner city resident has many other things to do.
As the king of ‘collaboration’, he has worked with brands such as Danish jewelery maker Pandora and Italian shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti. He has modeled for designers such as Paco Rabanne and Virgil Abloh. His skateboarding skills have earned him a hefty sponsorship from Hurley and an elusive spot on Frank Ocean’s Instagram grid. A few months ago he founded the clothing line Wahine with stylist Donté McGuine.
He’s a true multi-hyphen, a fixture of the party circles, an it-boy, a man in town. Also, it now has frosted tips.
Despite the exaggerated CV, Mr. Mock is relaxed. Bright. As the light poured into his apartment, he leaned against 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 sip of coconut water from a Tetra Pak. His feet were up. They wore last month’s limited-edition North Face x Paraboot shoes, which featured vulcanized rubber outsoles, matelassé full-grain leather uppers, and an elasticated collar — a slipper so exclusive it wasn’t even available to buy. As streetwear website Hypebeast reported, “Simply put, you can’t buy this.”
Growing up, Mr. Mock often walked 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 homeschooled into his teenage years to cope with the surfing rush hours. He also got into skateboarding around the age of 11. (“Pretty late,” he said.) By the time he was 16, he was making more than $15,000 a month from skateboard sponsorships. He then moved to California to pursue what he called his “skateboarding dreams.” (He put the words “skateboard dreams” in quotation marks.)
Clues to his modeling career were scattered throughout the neat two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment. On his kitchen counter was a handbag from Louis Vuitton – a brand he walked the runway for in 2019. In the corner of the living room sat an overflowing Rimowa suitcase – the luxury German suitcase maker he wrote for co-produced and starred in an online commercial last year. It shows Mr. Mock skateboarding through Manhattan with a Rimowa shoulder bag while recounting in voice-over narration a whirlwind romance with a girl he met outside a club in Barcelona. Charmed by her beauty, he talks about spontaneously buying her a ticket to take him to Paris. But a lost passport, a brief stint in airport jail and a six-hour flight delay put an end to the infidelity.
Across the room, next to a stack of shoeboxes in what at first glance looked like a standard McDonald’s Happy Meal box, upon closer inspection was a box of Cactus Plant Flea Market x McDonald’s collectibles from the limited edition streetwear- labels. The figurines (originally retailing for about $10) were reportedly listed on eBay for over $25,000, although prices have since fallen significantly.
Mr Mock got up to clean his lint screen. “Let’s just hop on some bikes,” he said.
He puts in a lot of miles on his VanMoof e-bike. The day before, he drove uptown for a Gossip Girl ADR (Automated Dialog Replacement) session, then back to the Lower East Side to check out a Japanese whiskey bar on Chrystie Street that he could invest in.
“We could go to the curbs,” Mr. Mock said, referring to a section of Lafayette Street that has become popular with New York City skateboarders for the many curbs its triangular layout offers.
He started changing, swapping his white t-shirt for a dark gray vintage t-shirt with the number nine on it. Above the breast pocket was a small graphic of a speech bubble with the word “Cigarettes”. “It’s a Japanese brand that was at its worst back then,” Mr. Mock said of Number Nine. “Everyone in Japan knows what’s going on.”
He pulled on and off a hoodie of his own design, a boxy Wahine-Zip. On the front, an outline of a Valentine’s heart surrounding a word banned from printing in The New York Times. “I drew it on my friend’s bathroom wall and then took a picture of it,” he said of the origin of the design.
He completed the outfit with dark wash Palace jeans, Ambush edition Nike Air Adjust Force trainers, a silver bomber jacket, Palace hat and Isabel Marant sunglasses. Outside, he was gliding through Alphabet City on his next-gen smart-tech bike. As the scene rolled by, he kept one hand in the pocket of the open bomber jacket.
Near the REI store, he swung smoothly across Houston Street to kiss photographer Gray Sorrenti, who happened to be passing by with model-actress Blue Lindeberg, a welcome kiss. The chance encounter took place directly across from Calvin Klein’s 55ft x 75ft billboard, which a year ago featured Mr. Mock, smiling at NoHo in nothing but black boxer shorts 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 think,” he said. He drank both at the store and ordered an açai berry and almond milk smoothie to take away.
Around the corner, at Curbs, he banged his fist into a few acquaintances before sitting down on a bench. Between sips of the smoothie, he talked about “Gossip Girl.” The original CW series, which ran from 2007 to 2012, was, he said, “before my time.” And when HBO Max reboot showrunner Joshua Safran approached him to play the role 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 quite the opposite of my real life. In terms of living in a cold place, going to private school, all that drama.”
He stopped. Then picked up again: “It’s funny because I never actually went to school. But the character is basically me – aside from being filthy rich, going to private school and living in uptown New York.”
On his first day of shooting, 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 uneasiness that it took place in September 2020. Between takes, the cast wore K95 masks and plastic face coverings. During their downtime, the actors were forced to isolate themselves in a room alone until called back to the set. “But to be honest, I’m kind of glad it happened because we got the weird stuff out of the way,” Mr. Mock said. “Hopefully everything will be a little bit normal from now on.”
He watched a skateboarder fly off in front of the Jack’s Wife Freda bistro. Ms. Lindeberg, the actress and model, walked by again. It’s something Mr. Mock loves about New York: “You basically have no choice but to see homies everywhere you go,” he said. As if on cue, another friend, actor Nico Hiraga, pulled up on a skateboard, followed shortly afterwards by another skateboarding friend, George Hemp.
“We could go play pool,” suggested Mr. Mock.
Soon Mr. Hiraga and Mr. Hemp were given Citi bikes and the group headed north. All three cycled almost exclusively with one hand. The journey was interrupted by further run-ins. In St Marks Place, Mr Mock stopped to hug his Brand Deal agent, Jenelle Phillip, who was dining al fresco at Cafe Mogador. On East 10th Street, on the edge of Tompkins Square Park, he stopped to chat with skateboard documentarian Greg Hunt, who was out with his camera trying to take advantage of the good light. Mr Mock said he spotted other familiar faces on the 12-block drive but he couldn’t stop for everyone.
It was early evening when 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 yards from the pool table stood a man in contrapposto, beer in one hand, the other relentlessly on his hip. Mr. Mock said he tends to stand similarly, in a sort of half-akimbo pose. Skateboarders have a certain way of holding themselves — Mr. Mock offered the word “feminine” to describe it, but then agreed it’s more about fluidity, or a certain grace that comes from constantly engaging with the gravity arises.
He added that he broke each arm three times. He broke four fingers in an accident. What happens, he explained, is you learn how to fall.
“When you watch skaters fall, it looks like Bruce Lee is fighting water,” said Mr. Mock. “If you fall the same way, you get reflexes after a while. Most of the time you can save yourself, but sometimes not.”
Is broken bones scary?
“It’s just part of it,” he says. “You expect it.”
He turned back to the pool table and adjusted his Palace jeans, which were more or less held up by a leather belt he said he’d gotten from “some random guy in Rome.”