François-Noël Cherpin is a costume designer based in Amsterdam whose imaginative costumes received critical acclaim both in the Netherlands and internationally. His distinctive style is rooted in the aesthetic of ballet, reflecting a great sense of refinement and sophistication. Freedom of movement, figure enhancement and a bold use of color are key elements in Cherpin’s creations. His visual vocabulary ranges from historical to contemporary adapting to the director or choreographer’s vision and to the nature of each production.
Before working as a designer, François-Noël started his career as a professional dancer.
Born in Roanne, France, he took his first ballet lessons at the age of seven. When he was 13, he left home to study at the Conservatoire National in Paris and four years later moved to Brussels to complete his training at Mudra International – the school of Maurice Béjart. Subsequently he joined the Dutch National Ballet (Het Nationale Ballet). There, he performed and created roles in the entire classical, neo-classical and contemporary repertoires and worked with internationnally renowned choreographers.
On retiring from dancing, François-Noël studied fashion design at ArtEZ, the Arnhem Institute for the Arts (The Netherlands) and, back in Paris, at the École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. In 2002, he was awarded the first prize at the Paris Concours du Salon International de la Lingerie.
While still a dancer, François-Noël created his first costumes for choreographer and Dutch National Ballet director Ted Brandsen. To this day they maintain a long lasting collaboration that brought François-Noël to design the costumes for amongst others Carmen, Pulcinella, Firebird, Coppelia and most recently the grand scale production of Mata Hari.
For Dutch National Ballet he also created the costumes for their new productions of Balanchine’s Who Cares? and Ballet Imperial as well as Rachel Beaujean’s new version of Paquita for which he also created the set design. François-Noël has created the majority of his work for Dutch National Ballet and he has also designed costumes for numerous dance companies including West Australian Ballet, National Ballet of Portugal, Royal Ballet of Flanders, Semperoper Dresden and Théâtre National de Bordeaux.
In addition to his work for theater, François-Noël has also presented several couture collections. From his atelier in Amsterdam he has worked as a couturier for an elite clientèle, specializing in bridal and evening wear. A versatile designer who enjoys creative collaborations he has worked on several projects across fashion and the performing arts such as Nochera, a high-end dance wear label inspired by the world of Tango and produced in Paris.