He finally cracked.
Kanye West has broken his self-imposed smiling ban thanks to a fatherly face stroke from Ralph Lauren at New York Fashion Week.
The rapper-come-designer was snapped in a "bless you my child" moment with the fashion legend backstage at Lauren's AW15 show and his beam could not be wider, brighter or more genuine.
Why is this a big deal? The 37-year-old music star is famously a paparazzi pouter. He flatly refuses to smile on command and like fellow fashion greats Victoria Beckham (yes, she's there now) and his pal Anna Wintour, has been afforded misery guts status as a result.
Kanye addressed his notorious poker face in an interview with High Snobiety last month. Though his explanation didn't really shed much light on his moody perma pose:
“Back when I was working on Yeezus, I saw this book from the 1800s and it was velvet-covered with brass and everything," he said.
"I looked at all these people’s photos, and they look so real and their outfits were incredible and they weren’t smiling.
"People, you know the paparazzi, always come up to me, ‘Why you not smiling?’ and I think, not smiling makes me smile. When you see paintings in an old castle, people are not smiling because it just wouldn’t look as cool.”
Ralph certainly made the Yeezy maestro forget about his brass-covered book heroes - but then Kanye has previously managed to turn the designer's name into a byword for supremity when he said of a clothing line “It ain’t Ralph, though” in a 2013 radio interview. His comment sparked "It ain't Ralph though" memes galore and Kanye even laid it down on a track.
The designer responded in kind: “That’s very cool. Well, that’s great. If I were to cater to Kanye, he would know that I’m catering to him. The fact that I make what I make—he gets it. He gets the quality and he respects it. And I think that’s the key, why I work all the time is to do that. That’s the fun.”
Just last week Kanye gushed - as much as Kanye gushes - about the 75-year-old in an interview with Style.com. "Ralph is the god," he said. "And that’s all I want to say about Ralph."
The bromance continues...
Stylist's fashion and beauty teams are reporting from the shows in New York, London, Milan and Paris at Stylist.co.uk/fashion-week
Words: Anna Pollitt. Images: Instagram/RalphLauren, Getty.