It was all flowers and products on June 14 at the Maison Lancôme event, which was held at the historic Academy Mansion on East 63rd Street. The elaborate and ornate bi-level space was transformed into a veritable showcase of Lancôme launches and tributes. And each room was decorated and themed with a nod to their French legacy, while making it feel modern and fresh.

“Every story starts with a first chapter,” said Lancôme’s new USA President, Suriya Parksuwan. “This event is the story of our brand and heritage, and how our brand’s voice is evolving along with our products and our consumers. Our DNA is deeply rooted in being French, chic and elegant. While staying true to that DNA, our brand’s voice has been moving in a bit of a different direction. It’s becoming more modern, trendy and hip.”

For the media who attended, the Academy Mansion felt like a sophisticated Wonkaville for beauty junkies. And Suriya acted as a well-dressed, elegant Willy Wonka of Parisian-inspired luxury skin care and cosmetic products.

Armand Petitjean, who founded the House of Lancôme in 1935, was remembered fondly with six new fragrances; three that are floral and three that are wood-based.

A Sonia Rykiel limited-edition collection was also presented. Together, Sonia’s in-house designer, Julie de Libran, and Lancôme Global Makeup Creative Director, Lisa Eldridge, created an elegant collection with colorful touches. Products highlight the carefree Sixties era with multicolored stripes and Left Bank culture, while embracing vibrant, playful designs created by well-known French street artist, André. Included in the launch are nail polishes, cushion blushes, duel-sided lip pencils and eye shadow palettes.

“What I love about Sonia is that these products have her signature on it.It embodies the whimsical feel she has become known for,” Suriya said. “It was a true collaboration, as her brand’s voice is there and it complements with ours.”

Another focus fell on the new Teint Idole Ultra Cushion Foundation, the company’s first foray into cutting-edge Jel-Liquid and Cushion Polar technology, a three-year project. The complete line offers 14 cushion compact, long-wear, high coverage foundations that are oil-free and rich in micro-pigments with an SPF 50.

Also in the limelight was their Energie de Vie Energizing Collection, which features ingredients like lemon balm and goji berry, and was created to appeal to a younger customer.

“This line speaks to a certain demographic, our millennial consumers. The tone is young and very hip,” said Suriya. “But it’s also a lifestyle statement. The name is energetic and it’s meant for people who are active but also want an effective, skin care regimen rather than one that focuses on anti-aging.” The revitalizing and antioxidant line contains a concentrated serum, face cream and lotion, sleep mask and cleanser.

“Recruitment is always a big aspect for us. We are not over promising,” he said of the lines.“I think the way the consumer is approaching skin care today is more transparent. They want to understand the textural feel and the ingredients used in the products.”

Suriya highlighted the company’s Juicy Shakers, which were released earlier this year as another way that the company is moving towards building on a more modern feel. The line is a remake of their highly successful Juicy Tubes. “We’re embracing our history with this new version, as we were inspired by our past. The shaker format already existed but we brought it back in a playful and colorful way, which we feel talks to today’s evolving consumers,” he said.

Lancôme seems to be one of the few brands that still believes and relies heavily on traditional advertising methods.

“Print and traditional media is still extremely important to us. That’s where we establish the image and luxury of our brand. Fragrance is still print oriented. That’s where you create the image and the emotional connection with the consumer. Scented strips are used as a sampling outreach,” said Suriya. Of course social media is as crucial. “Makeup is more digital than ever before,” he added.“Digital is where we reach the consumer the fastest way with Instagram and Facebook. And we’re using Snapchat to communicate.”

Clearly Lancôme is on the right track: last year the brand generated their biggest retail sales in the U.S. to-date.

“The brand has been on a great momentum,” he said. “In the U.S. we came out of 2015 hitting a billion dollars for the first time in history in retail sales, which was a huge milestone of us.”