NEW YORK — The late Art Cooper’s family, friends, protégés and colleagues from across fashion and publishing filled Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall Wednesday morning to pay tribute to a man who ended up larger than life in nearly everything he did. Cooper, 65, died of a stroke on June 9.

In between speakers, who included Ralph Lauren and Condé Nast chief executive officer Steven Florio, Harry Connick Jr. and his quartet played a few sentimental standards: “As Time Goes By,” “One for the Road” (a Sinatra classic and a Cooper favorite) and “Once in Love With Amy,” the last an emotional tribute to the late GQ editor’s wife, Amy Levin Cooper.

In the audience of 350, leading figures of the industries Cooper helped shape and define sat side by side: Lauren with Advance Publications chairman S.I. Newhouse Jr., and Joseph Abboud with Alan Flusser, among many others.

Cooper’s friend and fellow editor, Frank Lalli, played unofficial master of ceremonies for much of the service, recalling that Cooper was the one man he could bring himself to hug. “I couldn’t keep my hands off the guy!” said Lalli. He also offered the first of many reminiscences of having lunch with Cooper at the Four Seasons. “I’d find him on his leather throne, with his scepter — a Grey Goose martini — in his hand….Not only was his suit handmade, the banquette fit him perfectly as well,” Lalli said.

Lauren recalled how different men’s fashion had been before Cooper’s GQ came along. “It was an industry not composed of designers, but manufacturers….He brought in a whole new world.”

But Cooper had designs on creating a modern men’s magazine long before he was ever offered the job at GQ. Eliot Kaplan, now Hearst’s editorial talent scout and once one of Cooper’s charges at Family Weekly, said, “Even Art knew he was slumming there [at Family Weekly], and over coffee at the Brasserie and cheeseburgers at P. J. Clarke’s, he laid out the plans for ‘Renaissance,’ which would combine sex and service and fashion and literature.”Marty Beiser, Cooper’s longtime deputy at GQ, said Cooper had so many different qualities that they sometimes contradicted one another. “Nurturing and demanding,” Beiser said, “exuberant and sardonic.” Beiser’s former boss once asked him to sum up Cooper’s personality in one word for a reporter, while Cooper was in the process of being interviewed. To be contrary, Beiser offered “avuncular, which of course Art was not. He gave me that look, the look that said, ‘You are the stupidest person in the world,’ and told the reporter, ‘He gave the wrong answer.’”

And one of Cooper’s best friends, Alan Richman, GQ’s food critic, offered a list of people and things Cooper loved more than him, including Cooper’s driver, Richman’s wife, Amy Levin Cooper’s cooking and “living legends like [baseball pitcher] Sandy Koufax and Ralph Lauren. I’d put Steve Florio on that list — but I think Art loved me more than he loved you,” he said to Florio, as the crowd laughed.

Also in the audience were Cooper proteges Linda Wells, David Granger, and Ellegirl’s Brandon Holley. Holley also spoke, pointing out that her job interview with Cooper was to the point. “I hear you tended bar and love Faulkner,” he said. “Do you want the job?”

Others present included Anna Wintour, Graydon Carter; Richard Beckman, Ron Galotti, Leonard Lauder, and Nautica’s David Chu.

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