Kaffe Fassett bigraphy, stories - Fashion

Kaffe Fassett : biography

1937 -

Kaffe Fassett (born 1937) (rhymes with 'safe asset' ) is an American-born artist who is best known for his colourful designs in the decorative arts—needlepoint, patchwork, knitting, painting and ceramics. "Colour is his very medium, whatever the substance he uses."

Personal life

Fassett has resided in England since 1964. He lives with Brandon Mably: his partner and studio manager.


In the late 1960s Fassett met the Scottish fashion designer Bill Gibb, with whom he was in a relationship for a while. Until Gibb's premature death in 1988, they were very close friends and design collaborators, with Fassett creating many of the multicoloured, complex knitwear designs that became one of Gibb's trademarks. When one of Bill Gibb's designs was chosen by Beatrix Miller of Vogue as the 1970 Dress of the Year, the ensemble included a Fassett hand-knitted waistcoat, showing that traditional textile handicrafts had become an acceptable aspect of mainstream fashion. Fassett and Gibb worked together through to the end, collaborating on Gibb's final collection in 1985.

Fassett's work attracts a considerable following. His work was the subject of a 1988 one-man show at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the first time a living textile artist had such a show there. The show toured nine countries.

Being more concerned with colour and design, Fassett has collaborated with quilter and teacher, Liza Prior Lucy, on the construction side of things since the 1980s. Working as a team has enabled Kaffe to design quilts, fabric, stage sets, and costumes for the Royal Shakespeare Company, while staying engaged in making rag rugs, knitting, tapestries, and mosaics.Jack Braunstein article, QuiltWorks Today magazine

Author of more than 30 books, Fassett concentrates on teaching the colour and design stages of craftwork rather than the construction stage. In addition to books, he has hosted craft-related television and radio programmes for the BBC and Channel 4, including his own show, Glorious Colour.

His fabric prints are largely for the patchwork market along with Indian stripes fabric and shot cotton fabric range.

An exhibition of Fassett's quilts, knitting and needlepoint at the Modemuseum Hasselt, Belgium in 2007, followed a multimedia solo show in 2006 at the Prince Eugen's Waldemarsudde, Sweden. He made a workshop tour of Australia and New Zealand.

He is a fabric designer for Rowan Patchwork and Quilting and the primary knitwear designer for Rowan Yarns.

Early life

The second of five children, Fassett was born in 1937 in San Francisco, California, to parents William & Madeleine. He is the great-grandson of the wealthy businessman, lawyer and United States Congressman Jacob Sloat Fassett, and it was his great-great grandparents who founded the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, California. He received a scholarship to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston at the age of 19, but shortly left school to paint in London and moved there to live in 1964.

Living octopus

Living octopus

In countries which are located near sea coasts, sea food is an important part of national cuisine