Cyndi Lauper doesn’t plan on slowing down anytime soon. A pop culture icon known for her talent, zany personality, and ability to wear every hair-color combination under the rainbow with a flair only she could pull off, Cyndi is truly in a lane of her own. In last seven years alone, the 64-year-old singer, songwriter, and actress created a signature lipstick alongside Lady Gaga for M.A.C. Cosmetics’ AIDS fund, won a Tony award for her musical involvement in “Kinky Boots,” and built a shelter in Manhattan for at-risk LGBTQ youth in partnership with West End Residences. Not to mention, her chart-topping songs such as “Girls Just Want to Have Fun,” “Time After Time,” and “True Colors,” have solidified themselves as timeless coming-of-age anthems for many generations to come.
If her previous accomplishments aren’t impressive enough, the multi-hyphenate talent has set her eyes on the fashion industry, designing clothes for older women who are often overlooked by mainstream retailers. Most recently, in partnership with HSN, Cyndi created “Touch of Cyn,” a new collection of womenswear, jewelry, and accessories for women who have limited fashion choices because of their age and size. Inspired by her love of vintage, it features versatile pieces like a classic graphic tee and velvet coat to artistic jewelry and trendy-but-comfortable footwear at an affordable price point. Fans of the line can get their hands on their favorite items starting tonight at 7 P.M. EST following Cyndi’s appearance on HSN.
To celebrate the exciting collaboration with the shopping network, we caught up with the idiosyncratic songstress about the collection, why she’s currently rocking pink hair, and why she’ll never be stranded on a deserted island.
Allure: Congratulations on your new capsule collection with HSN! Why was it important to create clothes and accessories that are affordable and cater to a wide range of sizes?
Cyndi Lauper: Well, I saw a niche market. I saw something that I could make for women who are older and can’t wear the clothes on the runway, but still have a sense of fashion and fashion history. I’ve been wearing vintage clothes since I guess you were in school [editor’s note: the writer is 23 years old]. I love it and I love the history of fashion. All of the stuff that I’m doing is based on the fashion that I know. I made the clothes that I knew were able to hide the bits and bobs that perhaps older women want to hide, [while trying] to make it for different body shapes.
Where did you initially draw inspiration from when you were coming up with the pieces for the collection?
I’ve fallen in love with different decades. The twentieth century is [the] most exciting century to me because of the radical change in fashion. I went and researched [by going] shopping in the spring, and I saw women shopping in [the] price range [of my collection] in a department store. Everything they put on didn’t look good on them because it really wasn’t made for their body shape. I also researched [different types of] shoes. I made mules and I made boots, but I made boots that were wide enough for a woman’s foot. I [also] worked on how I would stabilize her foot because my feet have been injured from shoes.
I researched a lot of different heels — remember, I wrote that song, “the sex is in the heel,” [and] it certainly is. I had to find a heel that was sexy and stable. I kept drawing different ideas [on] how to make it stable and how to make a platform that’s wide enough so that you’re not going to tumble [over]. The truth is, older women are kind of marginalized. [Clothes] are just not made for their bodies, and the shoes that are cool-looking don’t fit your foot because maybe you had a kid or two. And you know the heartbreak of that is, you have your shoes, you have your kid, and then you’ve got to throw out your shoes because there is no way you can wear your shoes again [since] your feet have just changed. I started to think about this and [how to solve it so] that it’s affordable.
I’ve noticed there’s a lot of leopard in the collection. Why do you love that animal print in particular?
Honestly, I was very inspired in 1985 when all the designers said okay, we’re not going to make real fur. We’ve come so far with making that kind of looks good [and] you don’t have to kill anything, plus it’s affordable and nobody got hurt. My favorite colors are black, red, and leopard. It’s gotta be in there. It’s timeless and they are wonderful animals. Of course, you don’t want one for a pet, it’s not a good idea, but I think it’s kind of luscious.
You’ve had a lot of iconic beauty looks over the course of your career like the springy blonde curls in the 2010 Viva Glam M.A.C. campaign with Lady Gaga. How many hair colors have you tried over the decades and what have been your favorite ones?
I’ve done quite a bit. I started with green. [It was] St. Patrick’s Day [and] I wanted my hair to match with my dress so I went with a food color. I’ve had all different colors. In 2015, I had blonde hair and I thought it was good [but after a while] I thought it was plain, so I went to the store and bought Manic Panic, which is always my go-to [hair-dye brand]. They have a lot of colors and you can always mix and match [them]. I got “Cotton Candy Pink” which is different now. I got my hair really light pink [before] I had to go on TV and then I realized nobody had colored hair. It was just that moment when nobody had colored hair at all, so I was a little freakish. I just pretended like I was normal and there was nothing different about me at all. I didn’t know what else to do. I felt like a freakazoid.
How did you end up with the pink hair you’re currently sporting?
I wanted to change it to blue because I felt like hey, it’s the right age, aren’t I supposed to have blue hair? I was going to change it but then I saw the great Women’s March in January  and I realized [the marketing] was the same color as my hair and that I should never change the color of my hair — [at least] not now, just to keep solidarity. Part of what I saw was women marching with signs that said: “Girls Just Want to Have Fun-Damental Rights.” I was so moved by it, I thought, no, my hair is going to pink — so now it’s pink.
If you were trapped on a deserted island and you could only have three beauty products with you, what would you bring?
I can’t. I’d have to take the whole suitcase. I’m not going to be trapped on a desert island, that’s for sure. I’d definitely be building a boat to get the fuck outta there. I’m not going to do no Survivor thing. I’d have my Tracie Martyn products, my vitamins, sunscreen, some kind of shampoo, and cream rinse for my hair. I’d have to have my pink [dye] or some color, or I’d feel very plain. I’d have to have a big suitcase. I guess the suitcase would just have to come with me.
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