On a recent afternoon, Evan Mock was trying to do laundry in his East Village apartment, but something was wrong with the dryer. Disturbed beeps cut through the retro-soul music played in the airy third-floor walk-up. The machine kept starting and stopping. He mentioned a theory, something about excessive lint buildup and a faulty 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 HBO Max’s reboot of “Gossip Girl,” which returns for its second season on December 1. But the inner city dweller has plenty of other things to do.
King of “collaboration”, he has worked with brands such as Danish jewelry maker Pandora and Italian shoe designer Giuseppe Zanotti. He modeled for designers such as Paco Rabanne and Virgil Abloh. His skateboarding prowess earned him a major endorsement from Hurley and an elusive spot on Frank Ocean’s Instagram grid. A few months ago, he launched a fashion line, Wahine, with stylist Donté McGuine.
He is a real multi-hyphen, a must on the festive circuit, an it boy, a man of the city. Plus, it now has frosted tips.
Despite the hyper CV, Mr. Mock is laid back. Serene. As the light streamed into his apartment, he lay down 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 sip of coconut water from a Tetra Pak. His feet were up. They were dressed in last month’s limited-release North Face x Paraboot shoes, the ones with vulcanized rubber outsoles, quilted top-grain leather uppers and an elasticated collar – a mule so exclusive it wasn’t even available purchase. As the streetwear website Hypebeast reported: “Put simply, 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 home-schooled until his teens to adapt to peak surf times. Around the age of 11, he also started skateboarding. (“Pretty late,” he said.) By age 16, he was making over $1.5.00 a month from skateboarding sponsorships. He then moved to California to pursue what he called his “skateboarding dreams”. (He made quotes around the words “skate dreams.”)
Hints of her modeling career were strewn about the tidy two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment. On his kitchen counter sat a Louis Vuitton handbag – a brand he walked the runway for in 2019. In the corner of the living room was an overflowing Rimowa suitcase – the German luxury luggage maker he wrote for , co-produced and starred in an online commercial last year. It shows Mr. Mock skateboarding through Manhattan donning a Rimowa shoulder bag as he recounts, in a voice-over narrative, a whirlwind romance with a girl he met outside a club in Barcelona. Bewitched by her beauty, he says he impulsively bought her a ticket to accompany her to Paris. But a lost passport, a brief stint in jail at the airport and a six-hour flight delay put an end to the adventure.
On the other side of the room, near a pile of shoeboxes, what at first looked like a regular McDonald’s Happy Meal box, was, upon closer inspection, a box of Cactus Plant collectibles. Flea Market x McDonald’s from the streetwear brand’s limited release. The figures (which originally retailed for around $10) were reportedly listed on eBay for over $25,000, though prices have since dropped significantly.
Mr. Mock got up to clean his lint trap. “Let’s just get on bikes,” he said.
He puts a lot of mileage on his VanMoof e-bike. The day before, he rode into town for an ADR (automated dialogue replacement) “Gossip Girl” session, then rode back down to the Lower East Side to find a Japanese whiskey bar he could 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 sidewalks offered by its triangular layout.
He started changing, swapping his white t-shirt for a dark gray vintage number nine t-shirt. Above the breast pocket was a small graphic of a speech bubble containing the word “cigarettes”. “It was a Japanese brand that was sickest at the time,” Mr. Mock said of Number Nine. “Everyone in Japan knows what’s going on.”
He put on and then took off a hoodie of his own design, a Wahine square zipper. On the front, the outline of a Valentine’s heart surrounding a word that cannot be printed 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 drawing.
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 rode through Alphabet City on his next-gen smart bike. As the landscape rolled by, he kept a hand in the pocket of the unzipped bomber jacket.
Near the REI store, he swerved smoothly across Houston Street to kiss photographer Gray Sorrenti, who was passing by with actress-model Blue Lindeberg. The chance encounter took place right in front of the 55-by-75-foot Calvin Klein billboard where, a year ago, Mr. Mock appeared, grinning at NoHo in black boxer shorts and tattoos on his thighs.
Next stop was Madhufalla, a juice and smoothie bar on Mulberry Street. Mr. Mock ordered his usual: a shot of ginger and a shot of wheatgrass. “Softer than you think,” he said. He swallowed both in the store and ordered an almond milk and acai berry smoothie to go.
Around the corner in Curbs, he punched a few acquaintances before sitting down on a bench. Between sips of smoothie, he talked about “Gossip Girl”. The original CW series, which ran from 2007 to 2012, was, he said, “before my time.” And when he was asked by HBO Max reboot showrunner Joshua Safran 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 more opposite than my real life. In terms of living in a cold place, going to a private school, all the drama.
He stopped himself. Then he continues: “It’s funny, because I’ve never been to school. But the character is basically me – besides being very rich, going to private school and living in uptown New York.
On his first day of filming, he was to participate in a sex scene with Emily Alyn Lind, the actress who plays his girlfriend. The inherently delicate situation had the added discomfort of occurring in September 2020. Between takes, the actors wore K95 masks and plastic face coverings. During their free time, the actors had to isolate themselves in a room until they were called back to the set. “But, honestly, I’m pretty glad it turned out that way, because we cut out the weird stuff,” Mr Mock said. “Let’s hope everything from now on will be a bit normal in quotes.”
He saw a skateboarder wiping off outside Jack’s Wife Freda bistro. Ms. Lindeberg, the actress and model, is ironed. It’s something Mr. Mock loves about New York: “You pretty much have no choice but to see homies everywhere you go,” he said. As the timing was right, another friend, actor Nico Hiraga, got on a skateboard, joined soon after by another skateboarder friend, George Hemp.
“We could go play pool,” Mr. Mock suggested.
Soon, Mr. Hiraga and Mr. Hemp obtained Citi bicycles, and the group headed north. All three rode the bike almost exclusively one-handed. The journey was punctuated by other break-ins. In St. Mark’s Square, Mr Mock stopped to hug his brand 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 skater documentary filmmaker 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 journey, but couldn’t stop for everyone.
It was early evening when he and his friends arrived at 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 with a smile. “I’m in my saga era.”
A few yards from the pool table, a man stood contrapposto, beer in one hand, the other emphatically on his hip. Mr. Mock said he tends to stand the same way, in a sort of half-akimbo pose. Skateboarders have a certain way of carrying themselves – Mr Mock offered the word ‘feminine’ to describe it, but then agreed it was more about fluidity, or a specific grace that comes from negotiation constant with gravity.
He added that he had broken each arm three times. In a spill, he broke four fingers. What happens, he explained, is that you learn to fall.
“If you watch the skaters fall, it looks like Bruce Lee is fighting the water,” Mock said. “Falling the same way, you get reflexes after a while. You can save yourself most of the time, but sometimes you can’t.
Is it scary to break your bones?
“It 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 he said he got from a “random guy in Rome.”