Baek in Action

A nail-salon phenom closes shop.


Every once in a while, someone comes along with the power to make the mundane chic. From the moment Ji Baek’s New York salon, Rescue, opened its doors 14 years ago, it became the destination for mani-pedis, drawing a continuous conga line of high-powered editors, well-heeled bankers, and Park Avenue wives to its subterranean NoLIta location. Filling the void between plush-robed uptown spas and the $10 places on every corner, Rescue stood out for its impeccable service and incomparable polish selection—the best of which were often from Baek’s in-house brand. It came as a big surprise, then, when Baek announced earlier this summer that Rescue was closing its doors. “Every place calls itself a nail spa now,” Baek says. “It just wasn’t turning me on anymore.” What is turning her on are her thriving nail polish and lotion lines, which she’ll continue to offer on “I’m going to concentrate on what I’m best at,” Baek says, “which is creating colors.”

Baek: courtesy of Ji Baek