When it comes to travel guides, there’s no shortage of books on the market. Wherever the destination, there’ll be guide that outlines the top tourist attractions, the best hotels and a plan of getting from A to B as smoothly as possible. But when Stefan Bogner created Curves ten years ago, he had something else in mind – a magazine that celebrates the long way round. A magazine that invites its readers to explore the endless possibilities of a journey, and that allows fans to simply enjoy whatever comes next.
The 53-year-old had no inkling at the beginning that this idea would evolve into a successful international publication. “It started with a passion for travel and I was inspired by the motto: ‘Just do it!’,” he says.
Bogner inherited his thirst for adventure from his grandparents, who in the 1950s travelled to Alaska and the Himalayas. He also had a 25-year career at a design agency on which to call: Bogner knew how a magazine should be structured, how it should look – and how to make an idea become a reality. “I’ve always had the inner conviction that Curves is the right thing to do now. I simply had to do it.” So, he left his job and devoted himself to his new project.
The fact that Porsche sports cars play such a major role in the magazine is not without reason. “The passion was always there – ever since I sat on the back seat of my father’s 911 when I was a young boy,” Bogner reminisces. “However, as great as the cars may be, what makes Porsche stand out for me are the people.” Be it in his native Bavaria, in Thailand, Iceland or the US – he has made friends all over the world, thanks to Curves – and thing that unites them all is Porsche. “It’s like music – a universal language that everyone understands,” he smiles.
One aficionado talking to another
The relationship that owners have with their cars reflects the inner workings of the sports car manufacturer very well, believes Bogner. “What makes my contacts at Porsche tick, is also what makes me tick. It’s one aficionado talking to another.” This became clear during visits to the Weissach Development Centre – once he was allowed in. “That is community. Almost like family. So many good things develop there because the corporate culture allows it, despite the growth in recent years,” he says.
“The relationship with Porsche grew very naturally, just like with the Curves magazine. I call it the karma highway: let things happen organically and they will come to you at the right time. Forcing things never gets you far.” Bogner infuses this spirit in Curves magazine, which could not be more aptly described. Drive off, let go, discover. The Zen master of the road trip, Bogner brings this philosophy to life in the pages of each issue.
What’s next for the Curves magazine?
“The Curves magazine whets the appetite for a few things, but leaves a lot of room for own ideas and detours. This creates a vastness that can be felt not only on the road but also in your soul. My advice is to drive somewhere you do not have a reason to visit,” says Bogner, eyes twinkling as if he’s setting a challenge. “Only then does it become interesting.” What’s next for the Curves magazine? For the anniversary, Bogner is planning a book and a pop-up store in Munich, but his need for adventure is definitely not satiated. “There are still so many things that I want to discover with Curves. The unspoiled natural countryside in New Zealand, for example. The Porsche culture in Japan. Or the historic Panamericana in South America.”
He is not worried that road trips will, at some point, no longer match the zeitgeist of new mobility concepts. “Mobility in the cities is changing, and that’s how it should be. But road trips will still be with us for a long time because they appeal to something inside us, as people. It’s not about getting from A to B. But about emotions.” An adage springs to mind: the journey is the destination.