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Courthouse mail carrier turns to fashion

Fashion designer Stanley Covington Jr., of Hempstead, who

Fashion designer Stanley Covington Jr., of Hempstead, who has been a letter carrier for 27 years, sits for a portrait in his home in Hempstead. (Dec. 16, 2013) Credit: Andy Jacobsohn

'Stan the Mailman" at the State Supreme Court in Mineola has become known for his drawings. Now, he has spread his artistry to fashion, and his designs will be featured at an upcoming show on Long Island.

Stanley Covington Jr., a U.S. mail carrier who has delivered to and from the court for nearly three decades, is even better known for his big smile and cheerfulness.

"Stan is a very gifted person, and not just in his art," said Daniel Bagnuola, spokesman for the state courts in Nassau County. "He has the ability to leave everyone with whom he comes in contact smiling and feeling better about themselves."

Covington, 50, of Hempstead, has exhibited his colorful artwork and portraits at various venues around Long Island and even a few times in New York City. But the scheduled February clothing exhibit is his first significant fashion show.

He'll be showing off his designs at the Fashion, Jazz & Spoken Word Show, which will benefit the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. It will be held Feb. 15 at the Zicana Gallery in Westbury.

Covington says he has never taken art classes. He said he was inspired by his older sister, an amateur artist, and encouraged by his mother, both of whom died in 1997.

That knocked him for a loop, he said, and he stopped drawing and painting for two years before returning to his pencil and his oils.

"I was more than grumpy back then, but I felt they were encouraging me to get on with my artwork," he said. "And that was a good thing. The art relaxes and invigorates me."

Fashion, he said, was something he had "dabbled in" for years. But last year, he decided to do it seriously. "Most fashions are so drab, especially for men," he said.

While Covington said he would model a few items of his men's clothing line himself, most of his exhibit will be women's clothes.

Covington, who is calling his exhibit the "The Imoya Collection," will be one of three designers featured.

Covington said he seldom feels grumpy. "Even if I do, I'm not trying to bring anybody else's mood down. I like things upbeat," he said.

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