Katie Holmes Enlists a New Apprentice: Stepdaughter Bella Cruise

05/10/2011 at 10:30 AM ET

Katie Holmes and Bella Cruise
Ron Asadorian/Splash News Online

Tom Cruise‘s oldest daughter is joining the family business. While Isabella “Bella” Cruise won’t be lighting up the silver screen anytime soon, she’s recently taken on the role of apprentice at stepmom Katie Holmes‘s fashion label Holmes & Yang. “Kate’s designing and [Bella] is just working her way up,” a beaming Tom Cruise told PEOPLE at the Simon Wiesenthal Center and Museum of Tolerance National Tribute Dinner in Beverly Hills Thursday, where he was joined by Holmes and son Connor. “She’s an artist, Bella, so it’s really great that she gets to work with it,” he added. “She’s loving it.” While her family gathered at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel to support Cruise, who was honored with the Humanitarian Award, 18-year-old Bella was on a flight back from New York City where she’s been learning about the burgeoning Holmes & Yang line. “This is my wife’s company, so you talk about movie sets with me, I can tell you [about] that,” Cruise joked while attempting to explain what exactly his daughter is doing with her step-mom’s brand. “You’ve got to go to all these different factories and verify and make sure you get the correct clothes,” he said. And is the father of three proud of his daughter’s new design aspirations? “I am,” he confirmed. “It’s wonderful!” –Jessica Wedemeyer

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