Skater, model, actor: Evan Mock is his own unique trifecta.
From the laid-back North Shore to The City that Never Sleeps, Evan Mock is just an island boy living in a high-fashion world. His ubiquitous presence in ad campaigns for designers such as Fendi, Dior, Gucci, Saint Laurent, Bulgari, Lacoste, Moncler and Paco Rabanne has made him one of the top models of this time. There also are the huge billboards plastered around New York City, including indelible images of Mock stripped down to just briefs for Calvin Klein.
He’s walked the runways for Louis Vuitton and Alyx, and is a regular VIP at exclusive events for various international fashion houses. He also has his own label called Sorry in Advance, along with a growing list of collaborations with brands such as Giuseppe Zanotti, Pandora, Justin Bieber’s Drew House, plus a fun one with Hot Wheels, where he re-created the first truck he ever owned into a limited-edition, 1:64-scale 1987 Toyota Pickup with a surfboard and flag of the Hawaiian Islands at the back. The truck not only looks cool (it sold out in just one minute!) but is also emblematic of the beginning of Mock’s journey from skater to modern-day Renaissance man because when he was 18 years old, he sold that truck for $4,000 and bought a one-way ticket from O‘ahu to the mainland.
“I felt like I’d gotten to a certain point where I exceeded what Hawai‘i had to offer me from a business standpoint, so as soon as I financially could, I left,” recalls Mock, who was born and raised on the North Shore. “It was definitely something that I knew I wanted to do from an earlier age, and when I started getting paid a little bit of money for skateboarding, it was a lot more possible.”
Mock admits there was no set plan at the time, but opportunities kept knocking on his door and he’s been running with it (skateboard in hand, of course). Among the work he’s most proud of is his role as Akeno “Aki” Menzies on the HBO Max reboot of the popular teen drama, Gossip Girl.
“Being on a TV show … I was pretty intimidated stepping into that scene, but it was always something in the back of my mind that I knew I wanted to do,” shares Mock. “It took a while for me to have confidence in it … it literally took an entire season of filming for me to realize that I can actually do it … it ended up being great and such an amazing learning experience.
“I’m gonna try and give this one my whole attention and really focus on it, work on my craft, hopefully learn a bunch of things, do some auditions and maybe get a movie.”
Filming for the second season of Gossip Girl started in February in NYC, where Mock currently lives. Home, though, is and always will be Hawai‘i. From the smell of salt water to the sound of waves crashing onto the rocks, his family, friends and food, Mock says he misses it all. Among his favorite stops when he’s back on the North Shore are Pupukea Grill, Lei Lei’s Bar & Grill at Turtle Bay, Haleiwa Joe’s, Island Vintage Coffee and Foodland. He tries to return to the island at least once a year, admitting it’s getting harder, but proudly notes he hasn’t missed a Christmas.
“For me, it’s so needed, my whole family is still there,” he says. “It’s kind of the only time of year I see them. It’s a nice way to end the year and bring in the new year, and a great way for me to recharge my batteries after feeling pretty drained from working … it’s relaxation to the max and every time I go back, it’s as if I never left. It’s straight back to the schedule of waking up fairly early, going surfing, eating the foods that I love and skating before dark, and that comes with seeing your friends and community.
“Growing up in Hawai‘i, I can’t imagine growing up anywhere else. It’s taught me everything that I’ve learned from respecting your peers to the life- style. Hawai‘i is just a special place. It’s kind of hard to explain to people who don’t really know exactly what it consists of — it’s magical.”
Mock, who is half Caucasian and half Filipino “with a little bit of Chinese,” celebrates his 25th birthday in April and plans to throw a “Sweet 16”-themed party. “I always wanted to have some- thing extravagant like that and I haven’t really had anything super crazy for my birthday,” he explains. (Just don’t wish him a “Happy Birthday” beat boxing, it’s his biggest pet peeve.)
As for what he likes, his go-to drink is an espresso martini, his skincare routine consists of Tata Harper’s exfoliator and Pharrell’s Humanrace moisturizer, and his guilty pleasure is cooking rice (it’s a Hawai‘i thing). He also collects film negatives, shoes (he has about 100 pairs) and pens from places or hotels he’s visited.
Looking ahead, he says his goal is the same every year: to keep doing what he’s doing, but on another level.
“I’m just always trying to constantly better myself and my athleticism or my acting — just everything that I’m doing but on a bigger, higher level.”