Kaffe Fassett was born in San Francisco in 1937. When he was 19, Kaffe won a scholarship to the Museum of Fine Arts School in Boston, but left after 3 months to paint in London. He settled in England in 1964.
Kaffe ventured into the world of colourful yarn on a visit to a Scottish wool mill with fashion designer Bill Gibb. Inspired by the colours in the landscape, Kaffe was thrilled to find the same colours in yarns. He bought 20 colours of Shetland wool and some knitting needles, and on the train back to London a fellow passenger taught him how to knit. His first design appeared as a full page spread in Vogue Knitting magazine.
Missoni and Bill Gibb commissioned Kaffe's early commercial collections, and his one-of-a-kind designs have been collected by Barbra Streisand, Lauren Bacall, John Schlesinger, Ali McGraw, Irene Worth, Shirley Maclaine, Helen Frankenthaler, Alan Bergman and H.R.H. Princess Michael of Kent.