THE internationally acclaimed designer, Diane Freis, needs little introduction in the world of fashion. In fact, she is probably Hong Kong's best-known designer. So it was no surprise when the company won the Trade Development Council's Export Marketing Award during the Governor's Award for Industry ceremonies last night at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre. When Diane Freis arrived in Hong Kong in 1975, she had just a handful of dedicated seamstresses and many, many ideas. Today, the company has grown into a multinational entity employing 300 staff in offices and showrooms in the United States, Britain, Australia and Hong Kong. There are also agents representing the collection in more than 23 countries and 25 Diane Freis boutiques strategically located in prime shopping areas. The fashion industry was taken by storm in 1978 when the first Diane Freis dresses were introduced. The bold, one-size-fits-all, polyester dresses in brilliant prints and colours were uniquely combined with flair and artistry, establishing a style all of their own. A major contribution to the company's success has been the enhancement of this style by developing the product line to include knitwear, resort wear, cocktail and evening wear. Diane Freis has also marketed a perfume as well as a men's collection of ties and shirts. The company continues to expand with the recent launch of a new collection called Freis Spirit and the opening of its first boutique in China. According to the judges: ''Diane Freis Ltd shows an excellent understanding of its target markets and the customers within. The Diane Freis brand is well established and recognised, so much so it enhances the reputation of Hong Kong fashion design in general. Due to the inherent problems in relying on a small number of export markets, the company has diversified, expanding itsmarketing strategy to encompass the growing markets of Southeast Asia and the PRC. Diane Freis exports only its own brand-name products. To extend its traditional customer base, the company launched a new range, Freis Spirit, aimed towards new market segments. Diane Freis' promotional strategy makes effective use of charity fashion shows and capitalises on the high-profile personality of Diane Freis herself.