Valerie Dubsky began her career sketching designs. However, when the communist putsch of 1948 closed off Czechoslovakia from the west, she fled her homeland for France with her husband John, and child. John soon received a visa for Canada to work in a hat factory, but when the year-long contract ended, the family went to New York where Valerie resumed working in fashion.
By 1959, the family had returned to Canada and Valerie worked for various Montreal manufacturers until 1966 when she founded her own clothing company Vali Design Inc. She produced four collections per year: ‘at home’ leisurewear, clothes for cocktails, sportswear, and coordinated accessories, as well as importing her own perfume from France.
The Vali look became known for its femininity, fluid lines, and often floral prints. Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis purchased several Vali outfits through Saks Fifth Avenue in New York, which carried the line. Margaret Trudeau also wore Vali designs, most famously for a state visit to Washington D.C. in 1972.
In 1973, Valerie gave fellow Czech-born Ivana Zelníková (a tall, 24-year-old former Olympic skier) a job as a model. Ivana was soon modelling for many Montreal designers until she moved to New York, where she met and married Donald Trump in 1977.
Vali Design Inc., was officially dissolved in August 1985.