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In the World of Cyndi Lauper, ‘Leopard Is a Lifestyle’

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Over three decades later, this girl still just wants to have fun.

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Cyndi Lauper Photo: Chapman Baehler

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Pop icon Cyndi Lauper has never been shy about letting her true colors shine through — and for the foreseeable future, at least, that color is pink.

The star famous for her ever-changing, candy-colored hair has stuck with her current rosy shade for the past three years, and for good reason: “I was going to change it, but when I saw all the pink hats at the Women’s March, I decided that I’d keep it out of solidarity,” she says. As for those who insist that the pale hue belongs to millennials now? “I don’t care what people say!” she laughs. “I only care about what they do and what they think.” (Never mind the fact that Lauper was doing pastel hair long before twentysomethings called it cool.)

Cyndi Lauper in NYC, wearing a full look from her HSN collection.
Cyndi Lauper in NYC, wearing a full look from her HSN collection.
Photo: MediaPunch/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Now, Lauper is bringing her signature style to HSN with a collection of clothing and accessories called — wait for it — Touch of Cyn. And despite her family ties to the fashion industry (Lauper’s grandfather was a pattern maker, her grandmother and mother were both avid sewers, and the singer herself once attended design school), she insists her line is for the “invisible women” who are “cut out of couture,” particularly, those middle-aged shoppers who grew up in the era of rock ‘n’ roll and appreciate fashion, but feel frustrated by the fit and cost of typical designer clothing.

Price points range from $29.95 for a lattice-cut ring to $199.90 for a velvet swing coat inspired by styles from the 1950s. “I made the collar big because I think a collar that stands up is just so classy and beautiful. And if you look beautiful in a garment, people are gonna go, ‘Wow — what is that and where can I get it?!’” Lauper laughs.

The pop star’s particularly excited about the Victorian-style shoes she’s designed, like a chunky mule with a curved heel. “You know, mules have been around since Goya was painting,” she says, “but I feel like some of the ones [on the market], the pointy ones, aren’t so great for your feet. Like, I have permanent damage on my feet from all that shit!”

Touch of Cyn by Cyndi Lauper Platform Mule, $69.90
Touch of Cyn by Cyndi Lauper Platform Mule, $69.90

So in the interest of comfort, Lauper opted for a round toe and a high platform on both her mules and ankle boots. “Let’s face it: Some of the men making these women’s shoes that hurt so much, their punishment should be to stand in those goddamn shoes for eight hours!” she laughs. “I’ve been wearing my mules all day, and they don’t hurt.”

Both of Lauper’s footwear styles, along with the aforementioned swing coat, are available in leopard — her longtime favorite print. “Leopard is a lifestyle,” she explains, “and a lot of women belong to the pride!” You won’t find any real fur or leather in the animal rights activist’s collection, though; that spotted coat is made from velvet, while a black moto jacket incorporates both pleather and faux fur. Lauper says that the outerwear was partly inspired by a treasured piece from her own closet: a Jean Paul Gaultier coat from the mid-1980s. “It’s warm as heck, but it’s not fur,” she says. “It’s fake, but it’s fabulous! I still have it and wear it all the time.”

Lauper is well aware that her line isn’t for everyone — not every shopper shares her signature “wild style” taste, after all — but she hopes it’ll speak to a certain demographic who feels forgotten by the fashion world, who’d rather strut around in a red velvet suit and platforms than the usual menocore fare. After all, Lauper herself has been wearing these things since she got her start in the music industry — and has never looked back.

“I regret nothing — nothing!” she exclaims. “Everything I wore, I wore for a reason. I mean, I guess there was maybe one wig that was sort of a mistake; it looked like a dead cat.” But, she adds, “At least it wasn’t conservative!”

Cyndi Lauper will launch Touch of Cyn on Tuesday, December 12th on HSN at 7 p.m. EST.