A typical calendar for most sportswear companies, from idea to reality, is nine to 11 months. The goal for most companies: Five to six months. Here’s an example of a time line that a sportswear company might follow for fall:

September 2002: Designers start sketching concepts.

October 2002: Designers finalize their key ideas.

November 2002: Designers are reviewing samples, called protosamples.

December 2002-February 2003: Final samples are in-hand and start showing to retailers.

March through June 2003: Production process begins with garments being made. This final step involves color standards, fit and lab approvals, production specs and died bulk yarns, among others.

July-August 2003: Goods are shipped to stores.

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