Some people take engagement portraits before they get married, but in the case of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, well, they got a whole Vogue magazine cover and spread.
The so-called World's Most Talked About Couple posed for photographer Annie Leibovitz in various wedding regalia ahead of their summer wedding in Paris, but the "Keeping Up With the Kardashians" star and her rapper fiance included their 9-month-old daughter, North West, in the shoot too.
The hallowed tot has been seen only in rare photos shared by her parents, despite their own camera-ready proclivities, and more portraits of the baby girl were revealed over the weekend after her parents were announced as the magazine's April cover stars.
One image is an intimate beauty shot of West, 36, and Kardashian, 33, in a face-to-face embrace, another shows them walking hand-in-hand with Kardashian in a feathered Alexander McQueen gown. West captioned that shot "dreams come true" when he shared it on Twitter.
"One of my fave pictures from our @VogueMagazine shoot by Annie Leibovitz! Wearing Alexander McQueen," she wrote, posting the picture on Instagram.
But perhaps the most revealing shot features the "Yeezus" rapper shirtless and draped on his fiancee's lap, balancing a naked North, whose brow is furrowed like her dad's, on his belly. Other important features of the image: Kardashian in a Nina Ricci gown, also wearing an oddly strained glare and her visible 15-carat engagement ring. (The Kardashians have never taken their family portraits lightly.)
Incidentally, the couple have opted to keep their daughter off the family's wildly populer E! reality series and declined to share first images of the child in celebrity magazines like other A-listers in the past — Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie debuted their daughter Shiloh on People and Jennifer Lopez introduced her twins to the world in the same manner. Kardashian and West debuted the first images of their baby girl on social media and Kardashian momager Kris Jenner's talk show in August. Obviously, they didn't take issue with her being splashed on the pages of the fashion bible and its website.
Perhaps North, who's called Nori on West's side of the family, was ready for this particular cover, given that her reality star mother revealed that she frequently styles the little-seen child for her own makeshift studio sessions. You know, even though she's naked in most of the shots.
"I take pictures of her all the time and dress her up," Kardashian told Hamish Bowles, who profiles the polarizing couple in the April issue of the fashion bible. "I put Kanye's big chains around her, and I put a little Louis bag and some Jordans, and I was like, 'What up, Daddy?' "
Kardashian, who for better or worse has become a style icon herself, also opened up about her own idol: The late screen siren Elizabeth Taylor.
"Everything seemed so selfless for her," the Kardashian Kollection co-designer said, speaking about Taylor's famous jewels in one of the actress' last interview. "We talked about the jewelry and how it ultimately didn't belong to her; she just wanted to help people.
The former sex tape star acquired a few of the jewels that weren't auctioned to benefit the AIDS Foundation and spoke nostalgically of the actress' "enchanting" home but it wasn't realistic for her to purchase because "it only had a one-car garage."
Kardashian is also a fan of high-end duds for her little one, constantly sharing snapshots of North's future outfits from designers including Lanvin, Givenchy and Celine on social media. Since dating her fashionphile beau, she's been hobnobbing with industry heavyweights like former French Vogue editor Carine Roitfeld, designer Riccardo Tisci and Chanel's head designer and creative director Karl Lagerfeld. Kardashian and West collaborated with the trio while she was pregnant in a beautifully bizarre photospread for Roitfeld's CR Fashion Book in September.
But now they've made it to the pinnicle of the fashion arena by appearing on the cover of Vogue.
"Part of the pleasure of editing Vogue, one that lies in a long tradition of this magazine, is being able to feature those who define the culture at any given moment, who stir things up, whose presence in the world shapes the way it looks and influences the way we see it," wrote vogue editor Anna Wintour. "I think we can all agree on the fact that that role is currently being played by Kim and Kanye to a T. (Or perhaps that should be to a K?)"
The seasoned editor also shut down rumors that West "begged for his fiancee to be featured on the style tome.
"There's barely a strand of the modern media that the Kardashian Wests haven’t been able to master, and for good reason: Kanye is an amazing performer and cultural provocateur, while Kim, through her strength of character, has created a place for herself in the glare of the world’s spotlight, and it takes real guts to do that."
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