Before she was 10 years old, Suri Cruise had made more best-dressed lists than most can only dream of.

She was tooling around town in Chanel before she could speak, and in 2008, at just two years old, she topped Forbes' list of "Hollywood power kids".

But these days – while still largely regarded a fashion icon for her prep-filled sartorial nods while skipping along the streets of New York City, 13-year-old Suri's life looks vastly different from the former most-photographed tot in showbiz.

And it's thanks to Katie Holmes notably stepping away from the limelight over the past few years.

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Since her split with Tom Cruise in 2012 and the remarkably quiet relationship with Jamie Foxx that followed, Holmes' has been laying low, with Suri by her side.

Speaking to Stellar, she said she has a deep connection with her daughter.

Holmes recently said she often exercises with her teen daughter and best friend. Photo / Getty Images
Holmes recently said she often exercises with her teen daughter and best friend. Photo / Getty Images

Explaining that her own mum Kathleen has been pivotal in helping her bring up Suri, she said: "I have a really close relationship with my mum and a close relationship with my daughter.

"I have taken advice from my mum in raising my daughter. I appreciate the bond that all of us have, and I appreciate more and more my own mother and the challenges she faced now that I'm a mum."

Holmes welcomed daughter Suri with ex-husband Tom Cruise when she was 27 years old, the start of years of media obsession over the photogenic trio.

Katie Holmes, Suri Cruise and Tom Cruise visit Charles River Basin on October 10, 2009. Photo / Getty Images
Katie Holmes, Suri Cruise and Tom Cruise visit Charles River Basin on October 10, 2009. Photo / Getty Images

In fact, 10 years ago, the last time Holmes was in Australia shooting a film, Holmes' family life was all anybody seemed interested in.

Holmes married Cruise, 57, in November 2006, seven months after Suri's birth.

She filed for divorce in June 2012 after five years of marriage.

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Since the split with Cruise, the Dawson's Creek actress has been raising Suri alone.

Though neither Holmes nor Cruise have publicly addressed their parenting arrangements, Radar recently reported Cruise is allowed to see his daughter 10 days a month, but chooses not to.

Whatever the arrangement between them, for Holmes, each year just brings her closer to her mini-me daughter.

"I was happy to become a mum in my twenties," Holmes, now 40, shared in the December issue of Elle UK.

"It's been nice that our ages fit … how do I put this? Every age that my child has been and my age at that time has been a good match. We kind of grew up together."

Times have changed from the mid-2000s, when barely a week would go by without images of Suri splashed across tabloids.

More often that not, it was her style that had people gushing.

Suri Cruise strikes a pose at Charles River Basin on October 10, 2009.
Suri Cruise strikes a pose at Charles River Basin on October 10, 2009.

But now, months after splitting with Jamie Foxx following a notoriously hush-hush six-year romance, it's Katie making headlines for her fashion choices, earning her the title of trendsetter once bestowed upon her own daughter.

Suri quickly became a tiny style icon. Photo / Supplied
Suri quickly became a tiny style icon. Photo / Supplied
Yes, those are gold sparkly kitten heels. Photo / Supplied
Yes, those are gold sparkly kitten heels. Photo / Supplied

After years of keeping herself and her daughter out of the limelight, a usual classically-dressed Holmes has been thrust into the style pages, appearing to have more fun with her look than ever before in more risqué designs.

The Times in the UK hailed her an unlikely trendsetter and confirmed she had spearheaded the "sexigan" trend after she wore a $2200 Khaite cashmere cardigan and matching bra; they declared it "undefinably sexy and simple".

Meanwhile, Suri recently made headlines after being photographed with a copy of A Handmaid's Tale, prompting critics to suggest the dystopian novel was perhaps better suited to older teens.

Holmes' take was simply that education "is the number-one priority in my house".

But that doesn't mean she doesn't have the same arguments as everyone else about time on devices, she told Stellar.

"Every parent is challenged by social media and the internet," she says. "I think for me it's just limiting the amount of time for myself and for my child. It's important to get out and live and not always be on your phone."

While Suri won't be at Holmes' side during her encore visit to Australia next weekend for McHappy Day, as ambassador for Ronald McDonald House charities, she said her daughter understands the importance of her charity work.

"My daughter and I do a lot of volunteer work together," said Holmes, who took Suri to a Syrian refugee camp in Greece earlier this year.

"I enjoy volunteering with my daughter and hearing her point of view and listening to her suggestions on how we can help. It's important to go and see for myself, and to be part of helping people in any way that I can."

Suri Cruise is all grown up, and still undeniably chic. Photo / Getty Images
Suri Cruise is all grown up, and still undeniably chic. Photo / Getty Images

As she marches into a new decade, Holmes is living life on her own terms, she told Stellar.

Her last public outing with Foxx was at May's Met Gala; their apparent split came soon after. And as for professionally? "I have a lot of projects on the horizon," she said.

In 2016, she directed the film All We Had, about a mother struggling with homelessness; now she's about to direct two more movies – a coming-of-age mother/daughter story and a period drama.

She's also looking forward to collaborating again with the producer who worked on The Gift, a movie she starred in with Cate Blanchett in 2000.

"I love doing all different types of things. I do things that are interesting to me and challenging, and things I haven't done before," she says.

"I also like to go from film to theatre because it's a different daily rhythm, which is exciting in a different way. As an actor I always want to try to get better."