Orla began her career studying at Dublin's National College of Art. She obtained her master's degree from the Royal College of Art in London and has subsequently been a visiting lecturer at the RCA and Chelsea College of Art. She was also an external examiner for the National College of Art and Design in Dublin for two years. In 2005 Orla was awarded the Irish Tatler Irish Woman of the Year for design. She has also judged on several occasions for the UK Graduate Fashion Week Industry and Media Awards. Orla's industry consultancies include designing ceramics and wallpaper for Habitat and sitting on the Dulux Design Council. She has designed three capsule collections for the Tate in conjunction with their summer exhibitions. Orla has won two UK Fashion Export Awards and the UK Fashion Exports Gold Award and was recently honoured with the prestigious title of Visiting Professor of Textiles at the RCA. Orla Kiely is a continuously growing brand that produces a ready-to-wear collection alongside homeware, furnishings, luggage and accessories as well as signature bags. Orla has two stores in Japan and one flagship store in Hong Kong. The London shop and showroom opened in September 2005 in Covent Garden and expanded to accommodate a showroom in 2006. Wholesale USA business is growing rapidly and Europe is currently their largest export market. The company employs 50 staff in the UK with their head office in south London.