Evan Mock is proud to be a go-getter. The twenty-three-year-old model, known for his chiseled features and gender-bending style, has emerged as one of the industry’s most tenacious and hottest talents. He has worked for titans like Louis Vuitton and Saint Laurent, huge achievements for a bright-eyed young man from Oahu.
Before finding success on the runway, Mock was a well-respected surfer and professional skateboarder. His segue from sports to modeling appears almost accidental. The electric pink hair, which helped him to stand out in the skateboard park, also caught the eye of R&B superstar Frank Ocean. Ocean posted a video of Mock on his Instagram and the quirky skateboarder found himself an overnight sensation. From his success on Instagram, Mock scored meetings with fashion insiders eager for him to represent their brands.
Despite his quick ascent to celebrity, Mock is humble and unspoiled by his success. He credits his parents’ support for giving him the mindset needed to pursue his dreams and when asked to describe what he finds most beautiful in the world, Mock, unlike other men his age, doesn’t say expensive cars or designer threads. He admires most people who have the confidence to be authentically themselves – a characteristic that also describes Mock.
At the time of this interview, Mock was living on Mallorca, a popular European vacation spot which had recently been rocked by a devastating hurricane – a situation that he is grateful to have come out of unscathed. Speaking to Tings Magazine Creative Director Justin Campbell, Mock opens up about his quarantine experience, his fashion inspirations and the whirlwind romance he can’t forget.
JC: Hey, Evan! How are you doing?
EM: Hi, Justin. I’m great. I just survived a hurricane, so I’m feeling nice.
JC: That’s crazy! Where are you right now?
EM: I’m in Mallorca, The Balearic Islands, off the mainland of Spain. It’s my first time here. I’ve been here almost two months, so I’m starting to get really stir crazy.
JC: Have you been out there for all of the lockdown?
EM: Well, I was in Connecticut for a month and a half. Then I went to Hawaii for a month. Then I escaped to Spain after that. It will be about two months by the time I leave this place.
JC: That sounds so nice, though. I just want to introduce you to our audience. Why don’t you start by telling us where you are from?
EM: I’m from the North Shore of Oahu, and I’ve lived there for eighteen years. And my parents have been there for generations. I moved to L.A. when I was eighteen, stayed there for a couple of years. Now I guess I live in New York.
JC: Do you have a preference for Hawaii, L.A. or New York?
EM: I think they are all amazing in their different ways and similarities. I couldn’t pick one over the other. Right now, for me, it’s between New York and Hawaii. It’s my perfect balance of getting enough of the city life and the country life. They are both very different but very similar in the sense that New York seems pretty small and Hawaii is an island so everything is pretty tight-knit. Everyone knows each other. That’s one of the reasons I moved to New York because it made me feel like I was in Hawaii, in the sense that you can walk around the city and see people you know everywhere.
JC: I know you’ve been skating and surfing from a young age. Were they things you always wanted to do professionally or were they hobbies that turned into professions?
EM: Both of my parents surfed their entire lives, so it was a huge part of our lives. Most families go to public parks and have barbecues. We went to the beach and had barbecues. We were always doing things that had to do with the water: surfing, snorkeling, paddle boarding, diving. It was a huge part of our family, so we didn’t think about it as a job initially.
As I got older, I accumulated sponsors, and events started paying me. It wasn’t until fifteen that I started thinking about it as a job and I started getting paid at sixteen for surfing and skating. That was the turning point; it wasn’t just a hobby anymore. I started taking it a little more seriously.
JC: What did you buy with your first paycheck?
EM: It wasn’t that big of a paycheck. I was probably just buying food. Yeah, probably food because I was getting everything else for free as far as clothes and surfboards. My dad makes surfboard fins, so I was getting those for free. Nothing too exciting, just going to the supermarket and getting food and bringing it to the beach.
JC: When did you make the transition into fashion? How were you discovered?
EM: The first person I dealt with from the fashion world was Hedi Slimane. He came down to the North Shore and shot my friends – surfer people- and just a range of local people from Hawaii. It eventually came out in a magazine and people started seeing it. I think that was a start; it was my first introduction to someone from high up in the fashion world.
Then, obviously, that Frank [Ocean] video was a big turning point because it got put on a global scale of everyone seeing it. Before that, no one knew who I was because I didn’t have Vogue interviews or other magazine write-ups other than in the surf and skate magazines. So when that happened, it showed the world who I was. I guess that’s my introduction to the fashion world.
JC: Did you get an agent before the Frank video? Or after? How did that come about?
EM: I got in contact with Jamie Skinner, who is my publicist. And she connected me with Kendall, who is my agent. Yeah, it was a couple months after that, but it’s funny because I was already shopping around to see if someone could handle that side of it.
So, it honestly worked out perfectly. Ever since then, they’ve flipped my life upside down. Pretty much everything I wanted to do and do more of has been accomplished. A lot of it has to do with them. I’m thankful that they flipped my life upside down.
JC: You literally have done everything. You’ve been associated with all the top brands. You’ve done incredible photoshoots. Has there been one thing that stands out as a favorite or seems like a big accomplishment to you?
EM: Yeah, initially, I thought you go to a fashion show and walk. But it turned out to be so much more than that. There are so many more moving parts than I thought. So many more cool things that I didn’t know standing from the outside and looking in.
Walking Louis Vuitton was a pretty big thing for me because it was the first thing in fashion that I did. It was something that I always thought about doing, but I didn’t know how to get there. Just having an all-star roster walking in front and behind me was cool as well. You know, people that I looked up to are now my friends. So that was cool, to have that check of validation, that what I do is at the same level as all these people that I look up to. Now that we are all on the same playing field, it is a cool thing to think about — that I worked to get there, I guess.
JC: Have your family and friends been supportive? Do they think it is cool? Do they its insane? How has that been?
EM: People in Hawaii are so detached from the rest of the world, even though it’s a part of the United States. But they know I’m doing really well based on the things they see online. But the majority of people don’t understand what goes into it. Even my parents, I tell them I’m doing this photoshoot for Blah Blah Blah, and they are like, “Oh, cool, sweet.” I don’t think they understand the moving parts of what it takes to do that, which is totally fine. I don’t expect them to understand. As long as I am paying rent, they are happy.
JC: What is exciting you about the fashion world?
EM: I think just seeing all of these new designers pop up and them being so tapped into what their aesthetic or look is. They are popping up everywhere. It’s inspiring seeing how much time and energy they are putting into their craft. It inspires me to do whatever I want to do, whatever that may be, whether it’s in fashion or skate harder or surf bigger waves. It excites me to see it. It’s a real go-getter attitude.
It’s so much more accessible to be a top designer like Telfar. He’s put in the work for so many years and he’s been recently blowing up. And all power to him. It’s cool to see people like that who have been hustling for years, and their work is finally paying off. It’s the classic cliché story of if you want to do something, you can most definitely do it. That’s what excites me about fashion, seeing people put in the hard work. It’s not necessarily this bag or these jeans. That’s what excites me about fashion, the go-getter attitude.
JC: What’s one thing you can’t live without?
EM: Realistically, my phone. I do ninety percent of my stuff on it.
A good pair of fitting jeans and my favorite Birdwell x RVCA boardshorts. That’s like five things, but yeah, the basics. And the essentials.
JC: What is your guilty pleasure?
EM: RuPaul’s Drag Race.
JC: What’s the most romantic thing you’ve ever done?
EM: I had a twenty-four-hour fling in Barcelona. I just went up to this girl and just started talking to her. Anyway, we hit it off. We had the best night ever, but I’m leaving in the morning. I’m like, “I’m going to Paris. I’m buying a ticket, and you are coming with me.” And she ended up coming with me,
JC: That’s actually really cute.
EM: It was super spur of the moment. I was like, “I can’t leave you. We had the best time ever. We are going to have the best time in Paris.” And so, we did.
JC: I guess that didn’t last very long.
EM: It didn’t last super long because she had to go back to Barcelona, but it was an amazing couple of days.
JC: What’s your favorite cheat day food? Do you watch what you eat?
EM: Yeah, I’m being more conscious than ever lately. My cheat day food, I don’t know if it’s cheat day food, but I’ll eat a bunch of sushi sometimes, like so full that you can’t even speak or drink any liquid cause you are so full of sushi. That’s my cheat day.
JC: Have you ever had your heart broken?
EM: Yeah, once, my first girlfriend. She cheated on me.
JC: What’s your idea of beauty?
EM: Just being comfortable with yourself. When you see someone who is so self-confident that they say what they want, wear what they want. It’s a beautiful thing.