Building a Fashion Empire: Helen Oro

Meet Helen Oro, the First Nations woman who's building her own fashion brand from London Fashion Week to designing unique pieces.

Meet Helen Oro, the First Nations woman who's building her own fashion brand from London Fashion Week to designing unique pieces.

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I reflect back to the time I first met Helen Oro, a makeup and nail guru who shared snapshots of her beaded jewelry and sunglasses with us on Facebook in hopes of being featured. It was sometime after the release of our Premiere Issue back in 2013. In our brief conversation, Oro happily offered to submit DIY nail looks as well as which jewelry to pair with your makeup look of the day to the magazine. She also interviewed dozens of people for the magazine and website throughout the years.

Photo by Alexandra Jarrett

Within the last few years, Oro has been working on launching her own design label and business, with goals of selling her signature beaded sunglasses, jewelry and accessories in stores and boutiques across the globe. Aside from being an entrepreneur, Oro is also a mother with a busy schedule. Balancing her family with starting a company with little funds has been a challenge for Oro. Her latest and biggest milestone to date has been traveling to Europe and featuring her designs in London Fashion Week back in February.

We caught up with Oro about her experience at London Fashion Week, what she’s currently working on and what the next few years are looking like.

NATIVE MAX: So you had an opportunity to show your latest collection at London Fashion Week! Where did you show your collection and which day did you show?

HELEN ORO: 402 Cremer Street at Hoxton Arches on Feb 19th.

What did you showcase on the runway?

My beaded “Statement” sets, such as beaded headpieces, masks, a beaded skirt, and other beaded accessories.



Helen Oro’s Travel Diary

Check out behind-the-scenes snapshots of Helen’s adventure showcasing her collection in this year’s London Fashion Week.


What was the reactions and response to your collection?

Photographers said my collection brought a unique flair to the show. It was different and a great touch to this event.

What was the most memorable experience of the whole trip?

I recently was chosen out of thousands to partake in the Accessory Mastered Accelerator Program; it’s based out of London and I had the opportunity to go to a mix & mingle at the headquarters. Getting to meet fellow alumni and mentors was one of my highlights, but again even showcasing in London Fashion Week was a big milestone for me.

When did you know you were going to show at London Fashion Week?

Beginning of December. It has always been on my bucket list but never thought it would happen so soon.



Helen’s Newest Collection

Check out Helen Oro’s newest (and boldest) collection.


Where do you see yourself in 5 years?  

Selling my product in more boutiques across Canada and the United States; to build a brand that will be internationally recognized. I believe I’m on the right path but have ways to go.                                

What is your ultimate goal?               

To build an established brand that will be internationally sold around the world. Build onto my mentoring side of my business more. Sharing my experiences with fashion shows and shoots are fun but are way more enjoyable when I get to share them with others just starting out.

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Native Max is a brand and publication which features positive talents and stories of indigenous peoples of Indian Country.

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