Steve Harvey was at a production meeting when it happened. Harvey had gone to work hosting Celebrity Family Feud like any other day, but when he came home and peeked into his closet, it looked a little…bare. “Don’t it look a little skimpy in here?” Harvey remembers thinking. Hosting the show required dressing with a certain degree of repetition. He missed color, especially—he fondly remembers wearing a pink suit with white pinstripes. “My motto is to be fly ‘till I die,” he says.
But getting back to fly required a little bit of help. In an effort to revamp his wardrobe, Harvey’s wife and Elly Karamoh, the stylist the couple share, hatched a clandestine plan. While Harvey was out, they pruned massive cache of game show-ready suits without his knowledge. “If my wife wasn’t involved, I’d kick his ass,” Harvey jokes.
The makeover results were hard to miss: Harvey went from baggy suits to slim-fit Canadian tuxedos, leather pants, and all emerald-green suits. But a spate of recent photos have gone especially viral, turning Harvey into a bona fide influencer. Thanks to the new look, folks online are begging for a “Steve Harvey cinematic universe” or Photoshopping him alongside characters from Sonic and Batman. Harvey wasn’t expecting the attention, but he knows what to do now that people are noticing his new look. “I’ve got all these eyeballs and I guess that’s a whole new set of pressure now,” he says. “I got to get my ass out of here and get to shopping.”
GQ: What inspired you to start dressing in this new way?
Steve Harvey: Well, man, it was sort of strange because I dress like this when I’m not at work, but I’m always photographed at work. And after I hired Elly and we did [the] NFL Honors [awards show] two years ago,the people at Celebrity Family Feud said, “Why don’t we let Steve dress like that on Celebrity Family Feud?” And that opened up the door. Because on Celebrity Family Feud, the way they shot the show, I had to wear the same suit every show—I could just pick a dark blue or black or a gray.
And Facebook Watch came along and said, “We don’t want you to dress like you did on your talk show. We want you to dress like you do in your day to day.” So I went to Elly and said, “Okay, man, they’re going to let me do my thing. I need your help to help me get the stuff that I like, because I don’t know where to buy half of this stuff.” So that was the beginning of it right there: they took the shackles off and didn’t require that I dress as a game show host all the time.
Why did they want you to dress like that?
Well, because the way they shoot Celebrity Family Feud, they never know which order they’re going to air the shows. So on the break, at the end of the first show, I’ll say, “Hey, stay tuned. We’ll have new families come up,” and we didn’t know who I was going to tape, so they asked me to wear the same thing all the time. In the first few years of Celebrity Family Feud, if you go back, that’s all I had—the same suit.