Happy birthday, Zayn Malik: 25 reasons why Gigi Hadid's man is too cool for school

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The boy bander turned solo act — who celebrates his 25th birthday on Jan. 12 (see him as a drooly but adorb baby) — is just too cool for us. From his coupling with Gigi Hadid (Gee and Zee 4eva!) to ditching One Direction at the height of its fame to take a chance on a solo career, here are 25 reasons that the Brit singer is winning at life…

<p>1. Despite success with the popular boy band One Direction, the West Yorkshire, England, singer, center, left the band in 2015 as he hedged his bets on a solo career. Things weren’t the same without him. (Photo: Getty Images) </p>
Niall Horan, Liam Payne, Zayn Malik, Louis Tomlinson, and Harry Styles

1. Despite success with the popular boy band One Direction, the West Yorkshire, England, singer, center, left the band in 2015 as he hedged his bets on a solo career. Things weren’t the same without him. (Photo: Getty Images)

<p>2. After his breakup with 1D — tears are <em>still</em> being shed! — he scored his own record deal with RCA Records, leading him to create hits including 2016’s “Pillowtalk” and “It’s You.” (Photo: <a href="https://twitter.com/zaynmalik/status/626484940675371008" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zayn Malik via Twitter" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zayn Malik via Twitter</a>) </p>
Zayn Malik

2. After his breakup with 1D — tears are still being shed! — he scored his own record deal with RCA Records, leading him to create hits including 2016’s “Pillowtalk” and “It’s You.” (Photo: Zayn Malik via Twitter)

<p>3. Supermodel and “it” girl Gigi Hadid is his girlfriend. (Photo: Getty Images) </p>
Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid

3. Supermodel and “it” girl Gigi Hadid is his girlfriend. (Photo: Getty Images)

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<p><span>4. For Halloween, the delightful duo dressed up as Spider-Man and the Black Cat (aka Felicia Hardy, one of Spidey’s girlfriends), sharing with fans an adorable Instagram photo. </span>(Photo: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba9putEjtAD/?taken-by=zayn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zayn Malik via Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zayn Malik via Instagram</a>) </p>
Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid

4. For Halloween, the delightful duo dressed up as Spider-Man and the Black Cat (aka Felicia Hardy, one of Spidey’s girlfriends), sharing with fans an adorable Instagram photo. (Photo: Zayn Malik via Instagram)

<p>5. Then he did some pull-ups — from a staircase — in costume to prove that Spidey’s got nothin’ on him. (GIF: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/Ba7XwewAdFV/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Gigi Hadid via Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Gigi Hadid via Instagram</a>) </p>
Zayn Malik

5. Then he did some pull-ups — from a staircase — in costume to prove that Spidey’s got nothin’ on him. (GIF: Gigi Hadid via Instagram)

<p>6. But if you think he just loves Gigi, you’ve got it wrong. He loves Gigi’s mom, Yolanda Hadid, too. (Photo: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BYhGBydBvV3/" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Yolanda Hadid via Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Yolanda Hadid via Instagram</a>) </p>
Yolanda Hadid, Gigi Hadid, and Zayn Malik

6. But if you think he just loves Gigi, you’ve got it wrong. He loves Gigi’s mom, Yolanda Hadid, too. (Photo: Yolanda Hadid via Instagram)

<p><span>7. Zayn celebrated the holidays with the supermodel and her fam — and they made gingerbread houses. That’s next-level sweetness. </span>(Photo: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BdHMTXfBiLc/?taken-by=yolanda.hadid" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Yolanda Hadid via Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Yolanda Hadid via Instagram</a>) </p>
Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid

7. Zayn celebrated the holidays with the supermodel and her fam — and they made gingerbread houses. That’s next-level sweetness. (Photo: Yolanda Hadid via Instagram)

<p>8. Just like the Kardashians, Zayn has his own emoji set called <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/zaynmoji/id1186897888?mt=8" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:ZAYNmoji" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">ZAYNmoji</a>. Want to send his face to your friends? You can. (Photo: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BQgKkZDgr21/?hl=en&taken-by=zayn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zayn Malik via Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zayn Malik via Instagram</a>) </p>
Zayn Malik

8. Just like the Kardashians, Zayn has his own emoji set called ZAYNmoji. Want to send his face to your friends? You can. (Photo: Zayn Malik via Instagram)

<p>9. Not only did he sing a song with Taylor Swift (cool), but he got to hang out with her cat (supercool).(Photo: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BNyEx_rA5SC/?hl=en&taken-by=zayn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zayn Malik via Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zayn Malik via Instagram</a>) </p>
Taylor Swift, Olivia Benson, and Zayn Malik

9. Not only did he sing a song with Taylor Swift (cool), but he got to hang out with her cat (supercool).(Photo: Zayn Malik via Instagram)

<p>10. Move over, kittens. Zayn’s pooch, Rhino, is just too cute. (Photo: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/788l2LJqUO/?hl=en&taken-by=zayn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zayn Malik via Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zayn Malik via Instagram</a>) </p>
Zayn Malik and Rhino Malik

10. Move over, kittens. Zayn’s pooch, Rhino, is just too cute. (Photo: Zayn Malik via Instagram)

<p>11. In 2016, the performer opened up about his struggle with anxiety after not being able to perform a show at Capital’s Summertime Ball. Being candid about something like that? Always cool. (Photo: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BGhxCx4pqS-/?hl=en&taken-by=zayn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zayn Malik via Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zayn Malik via Instagram</a>) </p>
Zayn Malik

11. In 2016, the performer opened up about his struggle with anxiety after not being able to perform a show at Capital’s Summertime Ball. Being candid about something like that? Always cool. (Photo: Zayn Malik via Instagram)

<p>12. He’s an author. Zayn released his autobiography, aptly titled <em>Zayn</em>, which showed his life since leaving One Direction in 2015. (Photo: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BMRgVFyDAuV/?hl=en&taken-by=zayn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zayn Malik via Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zayn Malik via Instagram</a>) </p>
Zayn Malik

12. He’s an author. Zayn released his autobiography, aptly titled Zayn, which showed his life since leaving One Direction in 2015. (Photo: Zayn Malik via Instagram)

<p>13. What rock star doesn’t have tattoos? Don’t worry, Zayn has his fair share. He got a trendy behind-the-ear tattoo in honor of his dad. (Photo: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BcsUO_2j0aq/?taken-by=zayn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zayn Malik via Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zayn Malik via Instagram</a>) </p>
Zayn Malik

13. What rock star doesn’t have tattoos? Don’t worry, Zayn has his fair share. He got a trendy behind-the-ear tattoo in honor of his dad. (Photo: Zayn Malik via Instagram)

<p>14. Thought his behind-the-ear tattoo was his only one? Think again. In honor of his song “Still Got Time,” which he created with Canadian rapper PartyNextDoor, Zayn got a tattoo to honor the <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BR_7yDTDnJq/?hl=en&taken-by=zayn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:collaboration" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">collaboration</a>. (Photo: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BSZJkGVFZfF/?hl=en&taken-by=zayn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zayn Malik via Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zayn Malik via Instagram</a>) </p>
Zayn Malik

14. Thought his behind-the-ear tattoo was his only one? Think again. In honor of his song “Still Got Time,” which he created with Canadian rapper PartyNextDoor, Zayn got a tattoo to honor the collaboration. (Photo: Zayn Malik via Instagram)

<p>15. He also added Sia to his roster of musical collaborations and created “Dusk Till Dawn.” (Photo: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BYvdmzQALbD/?hl=en&taken-by=zayn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zayn Malik via Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zayn Malik via Instagram</a>) </p>
Zayn Malik

15. He also added Sia to his roster of musical collaborations and created “Dusk Till Dawn.” (Photo: Zayn Malik via Instagram)

<p>16. He loves <em>Game of Thrones</em> just like the rest of us. (Photo: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BY1Yutongmk/?hl=en&taken-by=zayn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zayn Malik via Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zayn Malik via Instagram</a>) </p>
Zayn Malik

16. He loves Game of Thrones just like the rest of us. (Photo: Zayn Malik via Instagram)

<p>17. He has so many hairstyles but still looks good with all of them. (Photo: Getty Images) </p>
Zayn Malik

17. He has so many hairstyles but still looks good with all of them. (Photo: Getty Images)

<p>18. Zayn and his ladylove looked h-o-t on the August 2017 cover of <em>Vogue</em> — though the article didn’t get a great reception. (Photo: Vogue) </p>
Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik

18. Zayn and his ladylove looked h-o-t on the August 2017 cover of Vogue — though the article didn’t get a great reception. (Photo: Vogue)

<p><em>19. Vogue</em> wasn’t the only glossy that Zayn graced the pages of. He added <em>Style</em>, <em>Clash</em>, <em>GQ</em> and more to his résumé. (Photo: Style; GQ; Clash) </p>
Zayn Malik

19. Vogue wasn’t the only glossy that Zayn graced the pages of. He added Style, Clash, GQ and more to his résumé. (Photo: Style; GQ; Clash)

<p>20. Fashion is a passion for the former One Directioner. In 2017, he took it all in as he sat in the front row at the Balmain show during Paris Fashion Week. (Photo: Getty Images) </p>
Zayn Malik

20. Fashion is a passion for the former One Directioner. In 2017, he took it all in as he sat in the front row at the Balmain show during Paris Fashion Week. (Photo: Getty Images)

<p>21. Add Versace to his list of favorite brands. He’s even tight with Donatella. (Photo: <a href="https://www.instagram.com/p/BLdg5ZMgJW0/?taken-by=zayn" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zayn Malik via Instagram" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zayn Malik via Instagram</a>) </p>
Zayn Malik and Donatella Versace

21. Add Versace to his list of favorite brands. He’s even tight with Donatella. (Photo: Zayn Malik via Instagram)

<p>22. Zayn has modeled for Versace’s Versus line (Gigi played photog) and later created his own capsule collection for the brand. (Photo: <a href="https://twitter.com/zaynmalik/status/839561400817102848" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Gigi Hadid/Zayn Malik via Twitter" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Gigi Hadid/Zayn Malik via Twitter</a>) </p>
Zayn Malik

22. Zayn has modeled for Versace’s Versus line (Gigi played photog) and later created his own capsule collection for the brand. (Photo: Gigi Hadid/Zayn Malik via Twitter)

<p><span>23. But Versace isn’t his entrée into fashion. Zayn’s first collection was a shoe line with Giuseppe Zanotti, with whom he created two sneaker-inspired styles and two boots. </span>(Photo: <a href="https://twitter.com/zaynmalik/status/763694066181615617" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Zayn Malik via Twitter" class="link rapid-noclick-resp">Zayn Malik via Twitter</a>) </p>
Zayn Malik

23. But Versace isn’t his entrée into fashion. Zayn’s first collection was a shoe line with Giuseppe Zanotti, with whom he created two sneaker-inspired styles and two boots. (Photo: Zayn Malik via Twitter)

<p>24. Oh hello, Kanye West. Nice to see you, Joe Jonas. Zayn counts the two musicians among his gang of cool musician pals. (Photo: Getty Images) </p>
Kanye West, Zayn Malik, and Joe Jonas

24. Oh hello, Kanye West. Nice to see you, Joe Jonas. Zayn counts the two musicians among his gang of cool musician pals. (Photo: Getty Images)

<p>25. But don’t forget the One Direction guys. Zayn has been making amends with his former bandmates, especially Louis Tomlinson. “We’re in touch, everything is on a civil level,” Zayn told <em>Us Weekly</em> in September. Erasing drama from his life? Now that’s really cool. (Photo: Getty Images) </p>
Zayn Malik and Louis Tomlinson

25. But don’t forget the One Direction guys. Zayn has been making amends with his former bandmates, especially Louis Tomlinson. “We’re in touch, everything is on a civil level,” Zayn told Us Weekly in September. Erasing drama from his life? Now that’s really cool. (Photo: Getty Images)

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