The two sparked romance rumors this week after they were photographed in Provence, France, for the rapper's 44th birthday. According to ET's source, they have "been friendly for a long time."
"Kanye loves having someone in the fashion world as that's a big part of his life and Irina enjoys Kanye’s passion for it," the source says. "The two have kept things on the DL for a while as they are both very private."
A second source tells ET that West and Shayk have "known each other for years through the entertainment and fashion industry."
"He has always thought she was extremely beautiful and cool," adds the source. "Now that they are both single at the same time, Kanye has been trying to woo Irina and impress her. They're having a good time together and Kanye really likes that Irina is low key and private."
Shayk previously appeared in West's 2010 music video for "Power," later walking in his Yeezy fashion show in 2012. West also name-dropped the 35-year-old model in his 2010 song, "Christian Dior Denim Flow," rapping, "I wanna see Irina Shayk next to Doutzen."
West's friendship with Shayk comes amid his highly publicized divorce from Kim Kardashian West. The 40-year-old reality star filed for divorce from the rapper in February, after six years of marriage. They share four children together -- North, 7, Saint, 5, Chicago, 3, and Psalm, 2.
"The entire situation between Kim and Kanye is still pretty emotional and not fully resolved, so it's been hard to completely close this chapter," a source recently told ET. "The kids spend the majority of the time with Kim and have been for a while. Kim has more control over their schedules. If Kanye does see them, Kim will have a say in what that entails."
Shayk, meanwhile, has been co-parenting 4-year-old daughter Lea with her ex, Bradley Cooper. "I never understood the term co-parenting," the model admitted to Elle in March. "When I’m with my daughter, I’m 100 percent a mother, and when she’s with her dad, he’s 100 percent her dad. Co-parenting is parenting."
"My past relationship, it's something that belongs to me, and it's private," she added. "It's just a piece of my inner self that I don't want to give away."