Ms. Ford was born Jan. 2, 1981, into an extended family so complicated that outsiders need a flow chart to guide them. Her mother, Deborah Beard, was married first to Tom Threlkeld, Ms. Ford’s father, a union that ended when Emily was 2. Soon after, Ms. Beard married Vin De Pasquale, a restaurant owner in Naples, Fla. They divorced in 2003 after nearly two decades of marriage.
The next year, Ms. Beard met her third husband, Anson Beard Jr., at a wedding. It was also a momentous occasion for her daughter, who met Mr. Ford the same weekend. The Fords were married in 2008.
The Beards have been financially supportive of Mr. Ford in the past, contributing to his failed bid for the Senate in 2006.
Ms. Ford had hoped to be a clothes designer. Instead, she graduated from the University of Miami in 2003 with a degree in business and marketing and moved to an apartment above a fish store on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. She worked first as a publicist for the designer Nina Ricci and, later, as the assistant to Mario Grauso, who was president of the parent group that owns the Nina Ricci and Carolina Herrera labels. She ended up styling celebrities such as Renée Zellwegger.