Her father might be Bono, but Eve Hewson isn’t your typical celebrity progeny: She grew up far from Hollywood, wore a uniform to school every day and had to beg her parents for her very first Chanel bag—and she didn’t actually succeed until her 19th birthday.
Which was fine: Growing up, Hewson—who stars as Nurse Lucy in Steven Soderbergh’s small-screen period drama, The Knick—preferred Converse sneakers and hoodies to anything even remotely feminine. “I probably wasn’t the most fashionable girl, but I was a pretty cool boy,” she says. It wasn’t until she took an interest in what she calls her mother’s and sister’s “girly” clothing, in fact, that Hewson started to shed her tomboy skin. (Of course, there’s no shame in playing dress-up in your mother’s closet if your mom is Ali Hewson, founder of environmentally conscious and perennially chic clothing line EDUN.)
In the six years since she’s been in New York, where she attended NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, the actress has refined her style even more, trading her hoodies and hand-me-downs for cropped leather jackets and the signature New Yorker look of black on black. “When you walk around New York, you just want to wear the cool jacket with a beanie,” she says, though she still carries the Chanel bag and has, in fact, supplemented it with a second one gifted by her mother. Her work uniform, meanwhile, includes perhaps the one item of clothing you might expect a comfort-loving former tomboy to despise—except she doesn’t. “I love wearing a corset!” she says of Lucy’s wardrobe staple. “It’s like you get strapped into that thing, and you don’t even have to try to stand up. It just holds you there.”
Following her breakout role on the show—one particularly unforgettable scene had her injecting liquid cocaine into co-star Clive Owen’s penis—Hewson made the talk-show circuit, where she proceeded to charm every interviewer with her wit and beauty. These qualities also caught the attention of Chanel, where she has since become a “favorite.” At the fashion house’s presentation of the Paris-Salzburg Métiers d’Art show this spring, Karl Lagerfeld’s first New York City showing in a decade, Hewson stood out among an audience that included Beyoncé and Julianne Moore. “There was something really tough about it, but sort of romantic,” she says of the collection, which showcased handiwork from partners like knitwear house Barrie and jeweler Desrues. “Usually you go to a fashion show and you don’t know how [the clothes] would work every day, but I was saying to my friend, ‘I want those pants, I want that jacket, I want to wear that.’ It was easy to incorporate into my life.”
Acting accolades, impending muse status and rock-royalty pedigree notwithstanding, she’s still just 23 and not above being impressed. “Seeing Pharrell perform, I couldn’t believe it,” she says of the Chanel show. “I was in the front row, and all of a sudden he popped out, and it was amazing!”