The Danish model-and-photographer enjoyed walking the runways and fronting campaigns for some of the world's biggest fashion houses during her heyday, including Chanel, Versace and Prada.
But the title of supermodel wasn't something she actively courted, instead Helena just wanted to give her best to every job that came her way.
"None of the girls ever cared much about the actual supermodel phenomenon. We just worked really hard and put ourselves into each shoot 100 per cent. If you work at a level where you're fortunate enough to travel then you learn about people, psychology, languages, cultures, history. It's literally one big visual experience," Helena told net-a-porter.com.
Helena still models, but her later career has been increasingly behind the camera.
Based in New York, the 45-year-old also relishes the chance to spend time away from the hustle and bustle of city life so relaxes in her country farmhouse to feel "normal" again.
"I love New York, but it's cool to have the balance. When you are surrounded by trees, things make much more sense; it is not a spiritual thing, it's just literally fact for me.
"How good do you feel when you are in the ocean, floating, looking up at the sky? That is sometimes all you need to equalise everything and feel normal again," she said.
She still devotes herself to fashion though, but now likes to choose clothes for their ease and comfort.
"A beautiful vintage dress is always easiest for me. There's no pressure, there's no stress and I feel very comfortable. We have a certain amount of time on earth. When you look in your wardrobe, you wear what's at the front, you know?" she said.