Hailing from Hawaii, skater, surfer, model and photographer Evan Mock has made a name for himself as a renaissance man of sorts, claiming his own space at the forefront of a new wave of creatives not willing to be boxed in by labels or expectations.
There’s nothing like Virgil Abloh’s stamp of approval to amplify an artist’s influence, and since he asked the 23-year-old to walk in Louis Vuitton’s SS20 Men’s show last summer Mock has joined Travis Scott on his Astroworld tour, capturing their escapades along the way and cementing his standing as one of the most unpredictable tastemakers of 2020. In the midst of a time of stillness, he’s far from used to, here Mock takes a moment to reflect with his friend, actor Hero Fiennes Tiffin, from LA to London in lockdown.
All clothing LOUIS VUITTON
All clothing LOUIS VUITTON
EM: Hey man! HFT: Hey! Alright, let’s start with the story of how we met.
E: How did we meet? H: You tell me mate, I’m asking the questions, you’re answering. I think it was NY.
E: Oh yeah! It was NY. You were doing some press for your movie (After) and then we ended up going to dinner for our publicist’s birthday in Soho, and we just hit it off. H: So what’s something I don’t know about you?
E: I like watching documentaries more than actual movies. I’m not sure if you know that about me. H: What’s something I know too well?
E: I’m really loud and I’m excited when we hang out. H: What’s your best memory we’ve had together?
E: Sitting in the back of that boat in Capri, having beers and a good time with friends. H: How would you say your life has changed in the last couple years?
E: I feel like my goals are that much closer. Certain things that have happened in the last couple years have really made me feel like I can do anything I put my mind to. And I think that has to do with meeting certain people and seeing how they work and operate and their outlook on life. It’s been really inspiring. H: What’s the first thing we’re doing when this is all over?
E: We’ve both talked about going to Hawaii, so I feel like we should try to make that happen one way or another. Whether it’s for vacation or work, we need to make it happen. H: 100%. That ties me nicely into my next question. What was it like growing up in Hawaii?
E: It was honestly the best thing I could imagine. I was into surfing and skating, and being able to grow up around the people who are the best at those things was super inspiring for me. It was also amazing to see how they were as people and little things like how they treat people really stayed with me. I was honestly so into skating and surfing that I wanted to know everything about it. Having the best surfers and skaters around me, it really did seem like a fake fantasy life. It was amazing. H: When did you get into skating?
Vest and trousers LOUIS VUITTON
Vest and trousers LOUIS VUITTON
E: I got into skating when I was 11 years old when a skate park was built next to my house. At the time there were no skate parks near me, just parking lots. So when that was built I started skating and got instantly addicted. H: So you started skating around 11, when did you move to LA?
E: I moved to LA officially when I was just freshly 18, with like seven of my friends. We were all packed into this two-bedroom apartment. It was a cool experience to go through since we were all on our own for the first time. It kind of felt like one big vacation really; I was with my friends in what was at the time a foreign place. Even though it’s only five hours away it felt like we were in another world. California is such a change of pace from Hawaii. H: How did that change your outlook on things?
E: It kind of opened every door that I was looking for. Living in Hawaii I felt like I got to the top level of things I wanted to do there and was really growing and excelling as a person, but I was ready for a new challenge. H: When did you make the transition into fashion and other things beyond skating?
E: Fashion was always a big part of my life but I never really knew how to get into that world. I was always dressing a certain way and had my own style, painting my fingernails and doing different things. But I officially got into it around two years ago. I never really set out to be in that world, but it just kind of worked out that way. H: What was it like working with and walking for Virgil?
E: It was cool to be included with all of these musicians, artists and athletes that I really looked up to. It felt like an elite crew to be in and it gave me a lot of confidence to be like, ‘If I’m in this with these guys, why can’t I be as big as them?’ Because at the time I wasn’t as big, but being included and being around them really gave me the confidence to feel like I could do this. H: Also, I have to just say, your Calvin Klein ad is on buses that I used to go to school on. Three of you, eight foot tall.
E: That’s so crazy! Someone sent me a photo of that the other day and I was tripping out because, for me, seeing those red buses is so iconic. H: Normally there’s a little section on the red bus with an advert, but yours turned the whole buses white! They’ve covered the bus with you on it.
E: That’s insane H: You do photography as well. What made you want to take photos?
E: It started as documentation, I didn’t really think about it as anything else. H: It was more of something that started for fun and grew?
E: Yeah, it was really a way for me to remember things since I don’t have the best memory. It took me a while to even remember when we first met! Certain things tend to fizzle away if you don’t take a photo of it or write it down or have conversations like this. So the sole purpose of it when I started was documentation and something to look back at later. H: Do you prefer being in front of or behind the camera?
E: I’m more comfortable behind the camera but for some reason I seem to be more in front of it. H: What about acting?
E: Talk about uncomfortable. Acting is one ball of uncomfortability. H: Bro, you’ll get there! It’s the same as anything you’ve done — the more you do it the more comfortable you get.
E: Right, right. I need the Hero Fiennes masterclass! H: Bro, I need it too… What’s one of the worst things about any of the industries you’re working in?
E: I think there’s just so much raw talent that gets overlooked in every industry. Some of them might not have the right amount of followers or don’t know the right people, but their work is amazing and it doesn’t get to see the light of day. H: I think with social media we’re on a better track to everyone being able to get more recognition than they did previously.
E: There’s definitely pros and cons to social media; it’s easier to get your work out there, but there’s so much out there now that it gets oversaturated, so it’s hard. But I think people having raw talent that really should be recognised and aren’t, that’s the worst thing. H: Do you have plans to move into anything else?
E: I’ve started knitting. H: Oh yeah? What have you knitted so far?
E: I started a few days ago and right now have absolutely nothing. It’s such a tedious process that by the end of this quarantine I’ll probably have a napkin. Super exciting things going on! H: I hear you… How do you balance doing so many things all at once? Skating, surfing, fashion, photography and now knitting?
E: Well growing up in Hawaii, surfing and skating kind of go hand in hand, and photography and filmmaking kind of follow those worlds. H: Your photography is more documentation, skating is your hobby you grew up doing, and fashion you said you’ve always liked and had an interest in. So a lot of the things you do is your lifestyle anyway, right?
E: Exactly. I don’t really think about it. It’s kind of like having your senses — they all kind of work together as one. It never really feels like I’m going out of my way to do one thing in particular, it’s all part of my life anyway. H: Let’s talk about the Travis Scott tour — how did that come about?
E: I was in Barcelona shooting a Paco Rabanne campaign, and then Travis followed me on Instagram. Before that I had no contact or anything with him. But then I met up with his photographer Ray, who is one of my best friends now, and he told me they were about to go on the Astroworld tour and that I should come to help out with shooting some of the tour stuff. I’ve always wanted to go on tour and was in Europe anyway so it was perfect. After Barcelona I flew to London, met up with Travis, and two hours later we were on his plane going to Norway. It was a really surreal moment of not ever meeting him and then all of a sudden I’m on this plane with him and six of his closest homies and his DJ and manager and how did I get placed here? It was such a crazy, surreal moment. Travis really recognises the youth and what they’re doing, and I think he looked at me as someone who was at the forefront of that stuff and wanted to keep me close. H: That’s crazy. What would be on your rider if you ever got to tour like that?
E: I think I would have an ice bath and sauna backstage before and after the show to get refreshed. H: I’ll be backstage! What projects are you working on at the moment? Other than the knitting…
E: Since we’ve been inside, I’ve kind of been checking off things I’ve wanted to do for a while since I never really stay inside in my normal life. I’m working on going through all my hard drives and archives of photos and getting a little collection together to eventually make a coffee table book. I’m hoping I can put it together either later this year or early next year. The hard part for me is finding a place to stop and say these are the only photos I want in the book, because I feel like the adventures and taking new photos never ends. So I guess it will be sort of a time capsule on a certain time in my life — something tangible you can hold. I’ll just have to give myself a deadline of when to end it. I’m also trying to talk to my parents and my family more. But not much has changed. I’ve been doing a lot of yoga. H: Nice
E: Thanks so much for doing this bro, I’m going to go play some video games. Have you been playing? H: I’m not really, but I might jump on every now and then.